5 Common CV mistakes

The UK job market is a competitive place, meaning getting yourself noticed by a potential employer is a challenge. Invest some time in creating a professional CV that will stand out and get you through to the all-important interview.

CV Mistakes

Often employers are faced with a pile of CV’s and insufficient time to read each one in detail, make sure yours has all the key points easily jumping off the page, and avoid these common mistakes –

1. Hard to read, not visually appealing

When you are trying to cram a lot of information into your CV it can be tempting to use big blocks of text which is not easy to read.

Try and keep paragraphs short and snappy, use bullet points, commas and sub-headings to break the text up so there is some white space on show. If an employer is faced with a long page of text it is more likely to be discarded because of the time it takes to read.

Make sure that font is consistent don’t be tempted to use bright colours, fancy word art or bright orange paper to make it stand out this will not look professional.

2. CV is not tailored to specific job

One of the more common mistakes is using the same CV for each job you apply for, granted it does save time, but if it is not tailored it is less likely to get you through to the interview stage.

Consider what skills the individual employer is looking for and explain in detail why you have the experience and qualifications to meet them. This does take some extra time and effort but is well worth it in the long run.

3. Not listing achievements

It’s one thing listing the day to day things you do in your current job, but what employers really look for is something that you have achieved, maybe you have implemented a new system, gained a qualification, or made a significant cost saving for a company.

If you haven’t been in your current job for very long and don’t feel you have any achievements to speak of use an example from your personal life you may have renovated your house, learnt to drive, or undertaken a volunteering project. Proving to a potential employer when you put your mind to something you can achieve it.

4. Length – Too long/too short

As a general rule a 2 page CV is considered a reasonable length, however this can be tricky if you have a lot of relevant experience to fit in. Think about what experience is directly relevant to the job you are applying for (a newspaper round you had 20 years ago may not still be relevant!). You don’t need to add every job you’ve ever had if you have been working many years, try to keep to what is most relevant.

Likewise if you haven’t had much work experience this could make your CV look a bit short. Try to consider things that have shaped you as a person such as if you have been travelling, if you are involved in any groups, professional memberships, community initiatives or relevant past-times.

5. Poor spelling and grammar

Not everyone has good spelling and grammar, so make sure you get it checked by someone who does. Often a second eye over the document will pick something up you have missed even if you have read through it several times, give it to a fresh pair of eyes and don’t always rely on the spell checker.

Try to capture the reader’s attention early, a personal statement at the beginning, giving a broad overview of what you specialise in is a good way of getting the potential employer interested enough to delve in deeper.

Now you are ready to upload your CV, and search our latest jobs.

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