We break down the 9 most common mistakes to avoid when writing your CV.
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1. Poor Formatting.
Your CV should be concise and easy to read. Avoid complicated layouts and tables, try to make sure you have plenty of white space and use a black Arial or Calibri font throughout your CV (size of 10-12) so employers can read it clearly before moving it to a ‘yes’ or a ‘no’ pile.
2. Not Tailoring Your CV.
One size does not fit all; take the time to carefully tailor your CV to each position you apply for. Employers will see the effort you have put in which will increase your chances of being invited to interviews. Think about skills needed for the role you are applying for and weave these throughout your CV.
3. Adding A Photograph.
This is encouraged in some countries but in the UK it is not appropriate. A photo could invite employers to make judgements on what you look like as part of their assessment as to whether or not you would be a good fit for the role and the company, which is discrimination.
4. Adding Your Date Of Birth.
The Equality Act 2010 marks age discrimination in recruitment and selection processes illegal. It is therefore not necessary to include your date of birth on your CV as this could again open up the doors of discrimination.
5. Incorrect Contact Details.
If you change your phone number, address or email address, remember to change these details on your CV! Even if you don’t change your details check they are all correct before applying for jobs!
6. Unprofessional Email Address.
Don’t let your email address ruin your job prospects. If your email address includes references to your favourite singer, football team, innuendos or any other informalities then it shouldn’t be on your CV. You will be deemed unprofessional! Instead create an email address using your name and if necessary a number. For example: email@example.com rather than firstname.lastname@example.org
7. Spelling And Grammatical Errors.
Errors can suggest that you lack attention to detail, you don’t care or you are lazy. It is important to note that spellcheck is not always accurate as it is often American English, so remember to check your CV for errors, check it again and again and ask others to check it.
8. Ignoring Gaps.
Try to clearly and concisely explain any gaps in your CV. Don’t be afraid of letting employers know you have been caring for somebody, you were made redundant, studying, you have been unwell, volunteering or travelling.
However tempting it is to say you have strong Microsoft Excel skills, a degree in hospitality or knowledge of Photoshop when you don’t, avoid lying on your CV because you will be found out. Instead try to work out how you can bridge the gap and gain the required knowledge, skills and experience.