CV being read in an interview

The top 2 most common CV mistakes and how to avoid them

8th May 2019

Making a mistake on your CV will dramatically reduce your chances of getting an interview. It shows a lack of care and attention to detail – both of which are not attractive traits to have when applying for a job.

With so many other candidates all striving for the same position, a mistake may be all that separates you from the competition.

Apart from the obvious spelling and grammatically errors, here are the two next most popular errors found on a CV and how you can avoid them…

Poor layout and presentation

“A [CV’s] format is extremely important – the content may never be read if the format and style of the resume is displeasing to the eye.”

Branko Marušić, Quora

There are two aspects which an employer will deem as vital when it comes to creating a CV template to showcase your skills – layout and overall presentation. The layout of your CV is important as you want to ensure each section is clearly labelled and are easy to navigate from one to the next. Make sure you create a title for each section and consider using a bold and larger font.

Along with adequate spacing you should find that your CV is easy to navigate if you follow these rules. The HR manager may not want to read every single word of your CV, and may have in mind which section they want to jump to first so they can create a list of potential candidates.

The first page of your CV is where the employer will start, so it has to make an impact. For more information on how to construct the first page of your CV, here’s an article from The Guardian – Why the first page of your CV is the most important.

See also  10 reasons why your CV could be rejected

The overall presentation of your CV will have a huge impact on the first impression it makes. Obviously you want to create an ‘eye catching’ CV which instantly sparks the interest of the reader. So a simple black and white CV may not perform as well as a more colourful or creative approach – the choice is yours.

Too much waffle

An important mistake to avoid is providing too much information on your CV. The employer will mainly be interested in the relevant skills and qualifications they have requested on the job advert, and everything else needs to take a back seat.

If you are someone who has an extensive amount of work experience spanning over decades, you really shouldn’t be listing every single task and responsibility underneath the job titles. This could easily make you spill over to a third or even fourth page.

For a more in-depth guide to why and how to stick to a two page CV – click here.

A two page CV is generally considered the standard approach to length, with a few exceptions in certain medical or research professions. Unless you are 100% aware that a three or more page CV is required, try to always stick to two. It will ensure you only provide what’s relevant to the role, and also make it easier for the HR manager to read.

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