Five Common CV Mistakes to Avoid

At some point or another we have all had to organise our CV. Whether you are revisiting an old one or writing one for the...

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At some point or another we have all had to organise our CV. Whether you are revisiting an old one or writing one for the first time these five common mistakes to avoid will help you get it right first time.

Five Common CV Mistakes

1. It was the typo that did it

Making spelling mistakes generally looks like you rushed through your CV without taking any time or effort over it. This says a lot to a prospective employer about what they can expect of you as an employee. Those little errors could end up costing you big time, so double-double check through your CV. Even better still, get someone else to check it for you making sure there are no bloopers and it reads well.

2. Watch the Waffle

Research shows that a prospective employer will spend less than 10 seconds reading through your CV before deciding whether to interview you or not! Scary hey?! That is not long to make a first impression. More than two pages and they will feel worn out before they start, so keep it to two sides of A4.

Lots of white space is preferable so don't write long paragraphs of text; keep it to bullet points if you can. BUT don't leave out key responsibilities just to make your CV shorter – you must make sure everything that is relevant is included!

3. Order, Order

As we know, your CV will be skimmed over so make sure all of your employment history and experience is in a logical order. You need your most recent experience first. If you have a long career history, prioritise your most recent/relevant experience to the job you are applying for and summarise the rest.

4. Where have you been?

If there are unexplained gaps in your CV history it will leave the employer questioning what happened during that time. Were you long term sick, travelling the world or training for the Winter Olympics? Make sure you have all dates covered and turn any gaps in your timeline into something positive if you can – this might be the very thing that makes you memorable.

5. Show & Tell

It is always good to include examples of projects you have worked on with clear outcomes and achievements. If employers can see that your previous experience matches the role they are interviewing for it will be a huge advantage.

You should start by researching the company where you are applying. Check what type of projects they do and then adjust your CV accordingly so your project history shows a direct comparison.

If you can, include a quick summary of where, when and how much the project was for and what your role in the project was.

If you've got any of your own helpful hints when updating a CV do let us know!