Top 5 CV Mistakes – updated

I see a lot of CVs (several dozen a week) and very few score more than about 60/100 in our free reviews and there is a common thread to the mistakes –

1/ It doesn’t say it’s a CV!

Blindingly obvious but so many people forget to put CV or Curriculum Vitae at the top of their CV. This may seem trivial but it’s supposed to be a professional document that sells you and you forget to put a title on it??

2/  Missing Contact Details

Whether it’s an email address, missing postcode or even no phone number, we see these mistakes every day and not just on CVs from relatively junior people. Without an email address or phone number you’re making the employer or recruiter’s job really quite difficult and a missing postcode often means they can’t register your details on their database.

3/  No Profile

A CV always needs to have a short profile that says what you are. Not a repetition of your CV, but 3-4 lines that summarises what you do. Make it easy for the recruiter to see that this is a CV they need to read as it fits the basic requirements of the role they’re short listing for.

4/  No Key Skills

This is perhaps the most missed out part of a CV and even when it’s there it’s often just a collection of key words that can confuse a recruiter. This is the part of a CV that you can tailor to suit specific applications to highlight why you match what they’re looking for – make sure you get it right and it’ll save a lot of time and get you more interviews.

5/  Dense Text

Have you ever picked up a Charles Dickens novel? How far did you get? Most people get about one third of the way down page 1 and put it back down again because it’s just this solid block of dense text that is way too difficult to commit to reading. Your CV is no different. But death by bullet points isn’t the answer!

Of course we see lots more mistakes than these 5, but if you don’t get these basics right then you’re making your search for a new job an awful lot harder.

Does your CV say what job role you’re looking for?

Most CVs ignore this very simple point and it’s why recruiters will contact you about jobs that you’re not remotely interested in.

Recruiters will frequently have found your CV on an on-line database such as Reed or Indeed and think you look suitable for a job role they’re working on. This is based on what you’re doing right now or possibly on your previous job role.

However, you may well be looking to move out of the industry sector you’re in or change career direction completely. So don’t waste your time having to deal with irrelevant contacts from recruiters and put a one-liner in your Personal Profile saying what you’re looking for.

This also applies for direct applications that you make – tell the reader early on in your CV exactly why you’re applying for the job.