Are These 4 Common CV Mistakes Costing You Interviews?


As a CV writer, I often come across the below mistakes in my clients’ CVs. If you take this advice into account, your CV will stand out from the competition.

1. Your CV is saved as a PDF format

Employers and recruiters often have trouble viewing a CV if it’s a PDF as Adobe isn’t always compatible with the systems they use. At best it will be difficult for them to open your CV, at worst it can appear a jumbled mess, so your CV should always be in a Microsoft Word document.

2. Your CV contains textboxes, graphs, charts or graphics

Your CV shouldn’t contain textboxes, graphs, charts or graphics because they are also incompatible with many of the systems used by employers and recruiters. The only exception to this is if you work in a creative industry where it is common practice to have any of the above in your CV.

3. Your CV is not visually appealing

It is essential that your CV has a professional layout and format so it is easy to read. Employers and recruiters should be able to scan your CV and instantly identify the various sections of the contents within. The focus of your CV should be the content rather than the appearance so avoid using bright colours or bold fonts which detract the reader’s attention from your experience and skills.

4. Your CV contains irrelevant information

Out of the four mistakes mentioned, this one is most likely to cost you the job. Each word on your CV needs to earn the right to be there. A common mistake I see with my clients is that they haven’t tailored their CVs for the jobs they are interested in. This is important as employers and recruiters want to see your experience which is relevant to the particular job they are hiring for. So what does this mean for you? It means your CV should be:

  • Tailored to the job of interest
  • Highlighting your relevant experience and skills (remove reference to your experience and attributes which don’t add value to your CV)
  • Containing relevant achievements (which are quantifiable with numbers)

Bringing it altogether

If you take note of the above suggestions, you will be firmly on the road to success as recruiters and employers will be able to see why you are a strong contender for the job.

About the Author

Shilpa is an ex-recruiter turned CV Writer and offers CV Writing, LinkedIn Writing and Cover Letter writing assistance. Shilpa is currently offering free CV reviews where she will personally review your CV and give you clear recommendations to improve your CV. Connect with Shilpa on LinkedIn here or email her at for a free CV review.


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