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10 common CV mistakes to avoid

Published almost 7 years ago by Elkie Holland

[Image credit -Flickr]

Whether you’ve been made redundant, or you’re simply looking for your next move on the career ladder, your CV speaks volumes about you. If your CV doesn’t make it past the first post in the selection process,  you’re doomed - no matter how qualified you are. Here are 10 common mistakes to avoid when putting your CV together.

1. Too long.  You need to be concise. Keep your CV to 2 to 3 pages maximum. If you can’t highlight your skills in this space, you’re giving the message that you are disorganized and tend to go on and on. 

2. Fancy paper. Your skills should speak for themselves.  Fancy paper will not help them stand out.  However, it might make you stand out in a non-positive way.

3. Fancy font.  Don’t try to set yourself apart with a different font on your CV. Instead set yourself apart by being uniquely qualified. 

4. Irrelevant information:  No one really cares that you were a singing waiter if you’re applying for an IT job. 

5. Outdated information:  It really doesn’t matter that you had a newspaper round or came first in the sack race at primary school.  Whilst it may give recruiters a chuckle, it won’t help you get selected. 

6. Typos and misspellings:  You would think this is an obvious one, but you’d be amazed at the number of CV’s received with big glaring mistakes. 

7. Falsified information:
Greatly elaborated credentials are the same as lies. Do not list diplomas, certifications, affiliations or awards that you did not earn. Just don’t do it. Liars do get caught. 

8. Attachments: At the CV stage do not send any attachments, whatsoever. If you are granted an interview, at that time you could bring in whatever it is you’re so hot to get into the selecting official’s hands. The person accepting the resumes will likely just hit the delete key or pop it in File 13. 

9. Elaborating too much: Place of employment, job title and brief, very brief description of job responsibilities and technology used are all you need. Salient points only.

10. Name and contact details in the header: Recruiters and HR professionals these days use parsing technology to help handle response.  Most parsers do not extract information put in as Header text.  This means that your contact details can be hard and sometimes impossible to find.  Put this information in the main document text.

If you can avoid these 10 common CV mistakes, you’ll get further along the selection process.  If you don’t make it past the first post in the selection process, due to any of these simple common mistakes, you really only have yourself to blame. Don’t let that happen to you.   


You only get one chance to make a good first impression.

In a job hunt - it’s your CV that creates the first impression. 

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