Sales Rec

CV Mistakes To Avoid

Trying to make a strong first impression is extremely important and that is why you should take time working on and perfecting your CV. It’s the first thing any employer will read about you and it is your first chance to impress! It is important to set yourself apart from the competition – and a stand out CV is your first step!

Your CV is your ticket to starting your job search and receiving interviews. CV’s should include; Education details, Work experience, Key skills/qualifications and other interests/hobbies.

However, there are many mistakes that people can make – don’t worry you are not the only one. These can hinder your application. One small mistake may make an employer doubt you and be more reluctant to progress your application.

Here are our top CV mistakes to avoid:

  1. Unprofessional formatting

Unless you are applying for a design/creative role, your CV doesn’t need to be a creative masterpiece. A professional layout with a smart font, such as Arial or Calibri and a small size, 10 or 11, is all you need. Make sure it’s clear and easy to read, with subheadings and bullet points if necessary.

It needs to be in an easily accessible format, such as a PDF or Microsoft Word. Some individuals are now including photos within their CV, try to avoid doing this unless it is needed for the job you are applying for.

  1. Too much information

It’s great to want to be able to sell yourself and write down all your experiences and achievements but try to avoid making your CV too long. An employer will have 100’s of CV’s to go through as quick as they can, so if your CV is too long, they are likely to lose concentration and interest.

There is no set limit for the length of a CV, it all depends on how much you want/have to include, but one page is normally enough for a graduate and two – three pages is about average length.

  1. Your CV is not tailored to the job 

You can’t use the exact same CV for multiple different job roles! Make sure you tailor your CV for each role you apply for, there is no ‘one size fits all’ approach. They can be similar but remember to highlight specific key achievements depending on what is relevant for that role.

Try to avoid generic skills/achievements, make sure you go in to depth about relevant experience to demonstrate how you will fit in and work well in the role you are applying for. Research the employer to understand what they want to see in a candidate. This way you can customise your CV to demonstrate how you will be a good fit for their company culture.

Also, try to avoid common phrases, such as ‘a hard-working team player’, ‘great time management’. They are good skills to have but you need to back them up and show the employer how/why. If you don’t have evidence, it could do more harm than good!

  1. Typos and bad grammar

You have worked so hard on your CV to ensure you have included all of your achievements and successes but you haven’t checked for typos! There is nothing worse than an employer reading a CV that is full of errors. This proves that you don’t have good attention to detail and may come across as careless and lazy – not a great impression!

Always ensure you have a fresh set of eyes to look over your work and check for grammar and spelling mistakes! Grammarly is a great tool to use to ensure you grammar is correct. Around 50% of CV’s contain a spelling mistake! Spell check is not accurate enough, so don’t only rely on that.

  1. No Cover Letter

Not every job application requires a cover letter so in some cases you may not have to do one, but even if it is not required, it will still help your application to stand out and impress your potential employer.

A well written Cover Letter allows for you to sell yourself and expand upon your qualifications, experience and achievements. It also gives you a chance to include details that your CV does not.

Taking the time and effort to write a Cover Letter will show the employers that you are interested and motivated for the job.

So, there we have our top 5 CV mistakes to avoid! CV’s are probably the most important things when applying for jobs. They will either hinder or progress your application. They are the first thing that an employer will read about you, so you need to ensure it is top notch!

If you read every word, skim read the best bits, or even just scrolled straight to the bottom – thank you for taking the time. SalesRec is a specialist Sales Recruitment company in London, you can find more information on roles and how we recruit on the website – or follow us on LinkedIn – for more blogs and helpful tips from the world of recruitment.