The top 5 shocking CV mistakes you’re probably making

By Sally Freeman

So, you’ve just found the perfect job and have already written your CV and cover letter. Wait! Before you send it off you need to check that you haven’t made these common CV mistakes.

If you want to ensure your CV doesn’t get instantly rejected, here are the top 10 shocking CV mistakes you’re probably making and how to fix them…

Writing a generic CV 

If you write just the one CV and use that to apply to numerous different companies, you are making a big mistake. Why? Because a company would always want to see an application that recognises the needs of the company and the role.

You should always tailor your CV to each role and company to ensure you are highlighting what’s relevant to them. Even if you are applying for the same or similar job title, there will always be subtle differences as a minimum.

Each company has there own culture and specific requirements for the role. Read the job advert and job description very closely and also the company’s website and social media pages. Gain as much industry knowledge as possible before you write your CV and tailor it specifically to what the company wants and expects of an employee.

How to tailor your CV for interview success

Forgetting to attach files 

If you’re applying online it’s important to attach all of the files on the first try. Having to send another email could leave you looking a little unprofessional, and it’s also possible they may miss your second attempt.

Every single thing you do will be tracked by the employer and made a note of. The diligent and accurate applications will stand out much more than the sloppy attempts.

Failing to create a brand name 

Think of yourself as a business with a brand name. That name is your own, and should be written right across the top of your CV in bold and in a larger font. You are essentially selling your own skills, experience and qualifications to the employer, and your CV is the sales brochure.

A huge mistake a lot of job seekers make is to write ‘CV’ or even ‘Curriculum Vitae’ across the top. This is not a good move, and would look unprofessional. Your name should always be across the top followed underneath by your personal contact details.

Relying too much on a spell checker 

The spell checking tool you use for your CV is not always 100% accurate. There is a chance it could miss an error, whether that be spelling or grammatical.

The best way to ensure your CV is completely free of any mistakes is to check it with your own eyes, and don’t place your faith entirely in your computer to do the important work for you.

You are underqualified 

Are you punching above your weight? Employers will often receive a small amount of applications from job seekers who are not qualified for the role.

Although you may not always need to have all of the skills from the advert listed on your CV, it’s important to recognise when you are not ticking all the mandatory boxes. Don’t waste both yours and the employer’s time by applying for a role you are extremely unlikely to get.

Read the job advert very closely and check to see what the exact requirements are. If a certain qualification is needed for the role, you could consider gaining that qualification if you’re dead set on a particular career. But in the meantime, try not to punch above your weight and give yourself a better chance of getting an interview by applying for roles within your reach.

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