10 Worst CV Mistakes To Make

On average, every corporate job opening attracts 250 resumes, but only 4 to 6 of these applicants will be called for an interview, and only 1 of those will be offered a job. This really puts into perspective how important it is to have a current, relevant, and smartly produced CV. Standing out from your competitors in the right way can sometimes be a mind-boggling and daunting task when creating your resume, especially as employers are now smarter than ever when it comes to hunting through the hundreds of candidates.

We have compiled a list of the worst mistakes you can make on your CV this year so that you can get ahead of the competition.

1) Don’t Use Clichés and Overused words… CRINGE!

There is no bigger disappointment for an employer than when they see words like “hard-worker”, “creative”, “self-motivated”, “out-of-the-box”. Generic words lose their meaning without the experience and accomplishments to back it up! Take a look at the “Best and Worst Words to Use in a Résumé in New CareerBuilder Survey” for some tips on words to use instead of the generic and overused words.

2) Typographical errors

There are some typing errors that Microsoft word may not pick up on, such as repeated words or words placed incorrectly. So please, just put your CV through an “Online Spell Check” system. It takes two minutes and could potentially benefit the rest of your life.

3) Made-up information

We know, it’s harder to find a job now more than it ever has been. But lying your way to the top is only going to end up in you feeling embarrassed and ashamed. At some point you will be asked to do a task, which utilised one of your “amazing skillsets”, and it is going to be extremely awkward when you cannot produce what you have promised.

4) Irrelevant experience

Many people take different career directions at different times in their lives. Let’s say you’re going for a marketing job. You may have 10 years of hospitality experience, but only 2 years of marketing experience. If the job you are applying for is a marketing related career, then you would want to focus on the two years you have related to the job. Your primary focus will be your achievements and passion for the sector. You can, of course, explain briefly other careers; perhaps to show how they have lead you in your current direction. Relevancy is key!

5) Not including keywords

Companies more often than not use Key Word Search Tools to pick out phrases, skills and qualifications related to the job at hand. These are important for employers to see because it shows them that you have understood what you are required to have for the role and the industry. If you are applying for a job in child care, you are likely to have key words such as a “DBS” and “CRB” that will obviously flag your CV up to the right employers.

6) Bad Grammar

Bad grammar can be one of the most off-putting mistakes you can make on your CV, especially when you praise yourself for your organisational skills and attention to detail. In fact, it’s a little hypocritical to call yourself a perfectionist and then fail to adhere to basic grammar techniques

  • Your vs you’re
  • Its vs it’s
  • Apostrophes and plurals
  • Past tense and present tense combined
  • Their, they’re and there
  • Accept vs. Except
  • Than vs Then

Make your life easier and put your CV through software’s such as “Grammarly”. After all, it could be the make or break to getting the call back for your dream job interview

7) CV Length

The average length of a CV is two pages. At Recruitment99 we recommend a one-page CV that is clear and concise. Any longer and it can be considered “waffling” and can also suggest that you have “job-hopped”, which is another no no! Aside from this, it can be quite frankly dull to read pages and pages!

Employers want your CV to state the skills and experience they are looking for in an organised structure that gets to the point.

8) Unexplained gaps in work experience

Many of us go through times in our lives where situations arise that may result in a gap in employment. Honesty is the best policy when it comes to this issue. Obviously, try not to make a big thing out of it, but if it is left unexplained, this will make the employer nervous and instantly creates a lack of trust even before the interview process.

9) Poorly ordered job experience

Structure, structure, structure!

Your CV should tell employers about you, your professional history, your skills, abilities and achievements. Ultimately, it should highlight why you’re the best person for the job. When placing in your job experience, you should include your work history and any relevant volunteer or work experience placements, starting with the most recent, working your way downward. Talk about business or project successes, showcasing your relevant skills and experience.

10) A photo of the candidate – Just don’t do it, ever!

“14.2% of recruiters rank including a picture as one of the biggest CV mistakes,” says Forbes. It takes up valuable space, and can sometimes insinuate to employers that you are trying to make up for lack of experience through a “pretty” looking picture. Sell yourself through your achievements, not your selfie.

If you are unsure and want help producing a fantastic CV, here at Recruitment 99, our specialists will work with you to create a sparkling document fit for your dream role. Or better still, if your CV is up to scratch, send it over, and we will do our best to find the career you desire.


Send Your CV Today!!!