CV Writing Tips: 8 Common Mistakes You Need To Avoid

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When it’s time for your job search to commence, reviewing your CV and checking CV writing tips should be at the top of your list.

We all know that it is important to have a properly-formatted and up-to-date CV. However, while we focus our efforts on ensuring our CV looks great to potential employers, it is easy to overlook simple mistakes that could actually be quite damaging to your application. Once you have sent your CV off, this damage is irreversible.

Some mistakes are minor grammatical errors and some are just extremely awkward!

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These mistakes are actually really easy to avoid so take note of these 8 CV writing tips:

1. Check and double check spelling and grammar

This is the number 1 most common mistake made on CVs, it happens a lot! It is also one of the easiest mistakes to avoid, so there is no excuse!

Poor spelling and grammar tells an employer that you have poor attention to detail and suggests that you may not care too much about the opportunity. To avoid this, rather than just relying on a computer to check your mistakes (computers are not very good in the grammar department), get at least one friend or family member to carefully read through your CV and check for mistakes. They should be able to spot any that you have missed.

We also recommend using Free & Quick Proofreading by Grammarly!

2. Avoid long sentences that say nothing at all

Your CV should be concise and direct. Employers do not need a lengthy explanation about everything you have ever done, you can go into more detail at your interview. Try to use concise bullet points instead of paragraphs that will highlight key achievements and skills that are relevant to the role that you are applying for.

3. Always tailor your CV

Remember that every opportunity is different, so using the same generic CV is unlikely to work if you are applying for numerous roles. Consider the role requirements listed in the job advert and make small changes to your CV to show that you match all of these requirements. An employer will then clearly see that you have taken the time to understand the role and know exactly what is required of you.

4. Be careful with leaving out information

Particularly if you are a more experienced professional, try to ensure that there are no gaps on your CV. If an employer sees gaps they may start to speculate and could assume the worst, so don’t leave it to their imagination.

5. Buzzwords are useless without evidence

“Great communication skills”
“Works well in a team”
“Strong leadership skills”

These kind of buzzwords are pointless if you do not have some evidence to back them up with. Try to elaborate a bit more rather than just listing these kinds of skills.

6. Ensure personal details are correct

An employer might absolutely love your CV and want to get you in for an interview right away, but if there is a small mistake in your phone number or email address they won’t be able to.

7. Avoid using fluffy lines

Starting your CV with a short paragraph about your career aims and what you are currently looking for is great for employers. However, this paragraph needs to be clear and specific and should not contain any ‘fluffy’ lines.

8. Don’t give too much information

At this stage, an employer does not need to know about your family and kids. This is not because they do not care about that, but because they need to envision you professionally based on your CV to see whether you will be a good fit for their team. Being a great parent does not make you a good employee, so keep your CV career-focussed.

Following these CV writing tips and avoiding the common mistakes will ensure that you make the right first impression. A mistake-free CV is much more likely to be successful in getting you an invitation to interview.

What’s next?

Once you’ve perfected your CV, be sure to upload it to CV-Library so that employers can get in touch with you about relevant jobs!

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7 Comments

  1. That’s Great tips! Very useful and easy to understand. All the points are relevant and give the best information to make a CV excellent. I am happy to read this post.

  2. That’s Great tips! Very useful and easy to understand. All the points are relevant and give the best information to make a CV excellent. I am happy to read this post.

  3. Yvonne McQuarrie on

    Well said about buzzwords! I suppose those words are some kind of lies. They’re really worthless unless they have been proven by some “heavy” facts such as participation in seminars, training, courses and so on and so forth. Involving lies is useless because anyway, it will be uncovered at the job interview. So being honest and clear is sheer essential when you’re compiling a CV.

  4. “1. Check and double check spelling and grammar

    This is the number 1 most common mistake made on CVs, it happens a lot! It is also one of the easiest mistakes to avoid, so there is no excuse!

    Poor spelling a grammar tells an employer that you have poor attention to detail and suggests that you may not care too much about the opportunity. ”

    Is this supposed to read “poor spelling AND grammar?” Since this piece of the article is stressing the important of detail…. 🙂

    • “…….stressing the important of detail” ? Really?? I strongly suggest that both you and the original author take your own advice!!!

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