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10 Common Mistakes of CV writing

10 Common Mistakes of CV writing

10 Common Mistakes of CV writing

I hate it when I get a CV in where I can clearly tell the Candidate has been coached by a high street recruitment firm. It looks awful and smacks of unprofessionalism.

At this level you need to be mindful of certain, specific things. For example, there are lesser recruiters out there who say that each position must be suffixed with a heading of “reason for leaving,” which can be a recipe for disaster. Can you imagine the implications for some-one who works in the start-up space and the myriad of potential reasons a start up Company may or may not be successful. Here is a classic example why telecoms executives need specific tailoring.

You must not:

  • 1. Resist the urge to put your life story on there.
  • 2. Go into great detail about personal matters, hobbies, family, etc should be kept to a minimum.
  • 3. Do not go into detail about what you were doing 15 years ago.
  • 4. Recent, relevant experience is key here.

Time spent making sure your CV is crisp and relevant is always time well spent.

  • Resist the urge to jazz up your CV with images or colour.
  • Use long blocky paragraphs of space, the human eye needs white space or will quickly tire of reading.
  • Don’t overuse bold type
  • Underlining should be reserved for website links only
  • Use classic typefaces like ‘Times New Roman’ or ‘Arial’ – they’re easier to read
  • Use tiny type, it hurts people eyes.
  • Don’t use acronyms unless they are universally accepted
  • Do not put resume/CV or Curriculum Vitae at the top of your CV. It is obvious to most people that is what it is. Also most documents on databases are indexed by means of what comes first, which should always be your name and personal information.

Have you committed these CV no-nos? Be sure you have eliminated them all with a CV review.

These simple mistakes will turn your reader off straightaway.

And finally…

  • Typos and spelling mistakes scream “I don’t care”
  • Do not make simple spelling or grammatical errors in your own field of expertise, it is extremely embarrassing.
  • Don’t put all your faith in a spell checker.
  • Have a friend or colleague review your CV before you upload it.

Classic CV mistakes

  • Grammar- read your entire CV out loud to yourself. If it doesn’t sound right it needs changing.
  • Writing lots, but saying nothing.

I see profiles and CVs all day long that are nothing but a long collection of superlatives, BS adjectives, and non sensicle buzz words of management speak with very little meaning or substance.

No, no more, ever. It ends here. I will not tolerate this kind of lunacy.

  • Why use 20 words when 5 would do?
  • Try taking out small link words to make sentences shorter, punchier and more direct.
  • Write it, then rewrite to make every word count.
  • Rip out stuff that isn’t super condensed, pure gold.
  • I say again, no life stories.
  • Grab attention with bullet points not long sprawling sentences.
  • No tailoring
  • Highlighting duties Instead of achievements

Not all roles have KPIs that are quantifiable, but– you must have had some impact in the business. Think of time-saving activities, new procedures, successful campaigns and increased sales penetration, giving percentage increases wherever possible.

  • Breaking the two-page rule
  • Leaving out information
  • Using clichés

“Good communicator”, “Works well in a team”, “Committed” – without any hard evidence of these you might as well write “Yada, yada, yada”.

  • If you’ve worded the achievements in the rest of your CV well, the fact that
  • you have these skills will already be evident.
  • If you feel you must use these phrases, at least try to link it to something you’ve done such as “Used my communication skills to build and retain a substantial client base.”
  • Being vague

Using fluffy lines like “Seeking a challenging position that offers professional growth.” doesn’t really give your reader anything to go on. Say something specific that focuses on their company’s needs as well as
your own. “I’m looking for a challenging entry-level Marketing position that allows me to utilise my skills and experience to sell software licenses and drive revenues.” Is much better.

  • • Poor design
  • • Incorrect personal details