Top 5 CV Writing Mistakes Article
A poorly written CV will greatly decrease your chances of getting your dream job. Think of it as your introduction to a potential employer; it’s your first impression, so make sure it’s a good one. By avoiding these top 5 CV writing mistakes, your CV will be sure to impress anyone who sees it.
Mistake #1 – The CV contains spelling and grammatical mistakes
Make sure your spelling and grammar are correct. Nothing makes a worse impression than misspellings on the page and simple grammatical errors. Handing in a CV with spelling and grammatical errors is the same as turning up to the interview not wearing any trousers – potential employers aren’t going to be impressed!
Mistake #2 – The CV is too long
Employers/HR recruiters are flooded with hundreds of CVs from potential applicants for certain jobs – make their life easier by making your own CV short, concise and to the point. Your skills and experience should be plain to see at a glance and it shouldn’t take longer than a minute to skim through the CV. As a simple rule of thumb, a CV should be no longer than two sides of A4 paper. A CV that fits onto one page would be even better.
Mistake #3 – The CV contains lies or half-truths
Before taking on an employee, companies carry out detailed background checks to ensure that the information they have been given about a candidate is correct and accurate. The internet has made it easier than ever to check for lies and exaggerations – if your CV does contain these, they will be found out. Be as honest as you can on your CV and give your potential employer a clear idea of who you are as a person, your skills and your accomplishments.
Mistake #4 – The CV is too generic and embraces a ‘one size fits all’ approach
Potential employers aren’t just looking for any person for the role – they’re looking for the right person for it. Grab their attention by tailoring each CV to the each particular job role. This may seem time consuming, but this strategy has proven to be very successful. It’s much better to send out 10 clear and concise CVs designed for a specific role than it is to send out 100 generic CVs.
Mistake #5 – The CV has distracting formatting with multiple fonts, images and colours
A CV has to be simple and easy to read at a glance. The goal is to gradually lead the eye from the top of the page to the bottom. By using multiple fonts, garish colours and other distractions, your CV will be much more difficult to read. The best CVs have a simple (but not ugly) design. Microsoft Word, Open Office and other word processing suites contain multiple templates to make simple, attractive CVs. Ignore these at your peril.
Bonus Mistake; references have names listed;
Nothing is worse than a potential employer calling your current employer to ask for a reference. Unless your goal is to create tension in the workplace, avoid listing your references and simply state that ‘references can be provided upon request’.
By avoiding these top 5 CV writing mistakes (and our bonus mistake), your chance of scoring an interview with your CV will increase dramatically!
This guide was written in association with Office Angels, the UK’s leading recruiter for receptionist jobs in the UK