Common Errors on CVs
We’ve had a lovely week of weather this week, with temperatures reaching 30 degrees. Apparently it has been hotter here than places such as South of France, Greece and Spain. It looks like we are due to continue having the hot weather into next week, which will be nice.
When applying for a job, the first thing that hiring managers/recruiters do to get to know your background and skills is to look at your CV. Your CV could be hit or miss for moving onto the next stage of the application process, so ensuring your CV is the best it can be and has no errors is very important. So for the blog this week, I’ve put together a list of common errors that we have seen on CVs over the last few years, so you can avoid them in the future.
Email Address – Having an email address that you created 10-15 years ago is something you want to avoid, especially if it is an address you now regret creating. Create a new professional email address dedicated to job applications / searching, as this will keep all of your job update emails together and they won’t get lost between spam emails.
Fonts – Avoid using a mixture of fonts throughout the document, stick to using a simple easy to read font, such as Arial or Time New Roman. It will allow the hiring manager/recruiter to read your CV at ease and not struggle to read certain words if the font has curly edges.
Colours – Use simple black text on white paper. It looks much more professional and text in certain colours can make it difficult for some people to read.
Newest positions at the top – Don’t list your previous positions from oldest to newest, as a hiring manager / recruiter wants to see your latest position first and what skills and experience you have gained recently. Your very first position that you held 20 years ago could have no relevance to the position you are now applying for. Ensure you list the positions from newest to oldest.
Number of pages – Having a long CV isn’t always a good thing. Even though trying to fit everything onto 2 A4 pages isn’t always feasible, having a CV that is very long can put recruiters / hiring managers off.
Not tailoring your CV – Submitting a non-tailored CV is definitely an error to avoid. You want to put effort into getting the job, and tailoring you CV will make your skills and experience gained in this area stand out and make you a stronger candidate. You may have gained the skills/experience to complete a position, but if it is not stated in your CV, someone new reading your CV wouldn’t know if you could meet all the requirements.
Position Details – Having the wrong amount of information on each position is something to avoid. You don’t want just a line or two on your latest role and then detailed paragraphs on your oldest. You should to be showcasing your skills and experience that you have gained recently, so add more detail to your newest positions and cut down information on older positions.
Unexplained gaps – Avoid leaving long gaps in your employment history. If it is just a couple of weeks that doesn’t hurt, but if a gap covers a few months, you should add a short description on the reason for the gap. You don’t have to go into too much detail, a simple sentence stating whether it was for a medical reason, or just a short career break. Having explanations will help the member of staff shortlisting candidates, understand why there have been gaps.
File naming – Remember to save your CV in a suitable file name. Common errors people make is that they name the file something that only they will understand, but sometimes when uploading your CV online or submitting as an attachment, the file name will be uploaded to what you have saved it as. It is recommended to name the file something that is recognisable and professional, such as “CV – ‘Your Name’.doc”
Formatting – Having a badly formatted CV is something you want to avoid. You want to come across professional, but having large spaces between paragraphs, or changing text size/font halfway down the documents is not very appealing. Ensure that you pay attention to detail and make the CV look professional and readable.
Spelling – Small spelling mistakes can be made which could have been easily avoided just by doing a spell check once you have finished putting together your CV. Most word processing programmes pick up on spelling mistakes, but some are missed, so make sure you do a final check before submitting.
Lies – It is known that there are some people who like to exaggerate on their CVs to make it seem more appealing. This is an error that is regularly made and people do get found out, especially if you get to interview stage and they ask you a question about something that you mentioned on your CV that isn’t true.
There are many common errors that are made by candidates that can be easily avoided. The list above are common errors that we have come across over the last few years, so hopefully by creating the list it will help you when putting your CV together on what to avoid and how to make the most out of your CV.
Let us know in the comments below if you have ever come across some major errors in CVs.
Have a great weekend.