So it’s time to start applying for a new job and you want to impress the company you are applying to. Surely the best way to do this is by completely embellishing your CV to the point of fiction and pretending you happen to have an Oxford degree in the exact area they’re looking for? Wrong. If you’re getting nothing but rejections you might want to look over this list of the five worst CV mistakes and see if you’ve committed a CV sin.
Beauty is in the eye of the CV-holder
This is the most crucial point, as in the case of CV’s, employers absolutely judge a book by its cover. If yours is written in bright pink comic sans font, 5 different sizes and looks like a complete mess it’s going straight in the bin without so much as a cursory glance over. Leave wordart to children and follow a good, professional CV template to maximise the chances of it being read.
Liar liar CV on fire
This one should go without saying, but there are still people who think fibbing on their CV is a good way to go and this is one of the worst CV mistakes. Don’t introduce yourself with false titles or credentials as no one will believe the CV really belongs to ‘Daenerys of the House Targaryen, the First of Her Name, The Unburnt, Queen of the Andals, the Rhoynar and the First Men, Queen of Meereen, Khaleesi of the Great Grass Sea, Protector of the Realm, Lady Regnant of the Seven Kingdoms, Breaker of Chains and Mother of Dragons.’
Likewise don’t say you’ve got more qualifications than you really have, Leonardo DiCaprio tried that one in Catch Me If You Can and just like Tom Hanks, your employer will catch on and know it’s a lot of hot air or the truth will come out during reference checks. You may not end up in prison, but you’ll certainly end up on the rubbish pile.
I put a spell(ing error) on you
It can be easy to make spelling mistakes when you’ve seen a job that you really want and you’re desperate to apply for as soon as you can, but doing this will show the employer that you’re careless and impatient for not bothering to check your CV before you send it. Don’t make this easy CV mistake, nearly all document creating software has a spell-check feature available so make the most of this to single out any slips you may not have noticed. Using this can show you any areas of poor grammar too. Getting someone else to read over your CV before you send it also helps, as they may spot mistakes you haven’t, or tell you if a sentence doesn’t make sense.
It is especially important to get the titles, employers names and company names correct too as nothing will put off a hiring manager more than you calling them Simon instead of Simone.
Another of the worst CV mistakes is getting the sizing of your CV wrong. Getting the right length can seem tricky, do you list every accomplishment since you arrived into the world or only the last job you’ve held? According to Reed, 91% of employers said that two pages was the perfect length, this gives you enough space to provide good detail about your academic qualifications and professional skills without waffling on, however keep in mind that this isn’t the perfect rule and it does depend on how much experience you have.
If you find yourself telling them how much you love dogs and taking part in extreme ironing (trust us it’s a real sport) in your spare time then they don’t need to know, unless you are applying to be the wacky judge at Crufts. Keep the focus on your most relevant experience and your highest levels of qualifications, you can leave out the A+ you got ten years ago.
You used to call me on my cellphone
This simple mistake may be something that hasn’t crossed your mind but accidentally omitting contact details or putting the wrong ones down can be an easy way to ruin your chances of getting a job. If an employer can only contact you by carrier pigeon or smoke signals, chances are they won’t bother and you may feel disappointed that you never heard back from the position you loved when the company did try but sent a response to a dead email address.
Another tip is to keep your contact details professional and simple, don’t offer them an email like [email protected] or something needlessly complicated like [email protected] as this can easily be typed incorrectly and is just plain annoying.
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