Top 10 CV mistakes

CV Mistakes

CV mistakes

Do you want to know why your CV isn’t making it to the ‘Yes’ pile? A recent survey of 200 recruiters found the top ten things that can put an employer off. Don’t let these simple CV mistakes stop you getting your dream job!

Asked about their pet peeves recruiters rated the below ten things the top of their hit list:

  1. Spelling mistakes (71%)
  2. Being massively under-qualified for the role (62.6%)
  3. Lists of unrelated skills (40.6%)
  4. Too many jobs over a short period of time (22.6%)
  5. A CV that is more than two pages long (16.1%)
  6. A picture (14.2%)
  7. A CV littered with buzzwords (12.9%)
  8. A CV that is ‘too creative’ (12.9%)
  9. No cover letter, even when the application requires one (7.1%)
  10. No social media presence (1.9%)

Whilst the recruiters surveyed are not referring specifically to young people’s applications there is a lot we can learn from this top ten.

We all know that spelling mistakes are a no-no but when you have worked for so long on your CV sometimes it can be difficult to spot the errors. When you’ve spent two weeks crafting an introduction, your mind can play tricks on you when you read through it.

Top tips?

CV mistakes top tipsCover all the basics! SpellCheck and re-read your work, it can feel like a big achievement to finish your CV but check just one more time before you push send.

Ask someone else to read your CV for you, your friend who loves english, your parents or a teacher – all will be happy to read it and point out any changes. If you aren’t confident enough to have someone read your CV then try reading it loud. Sometimes you can notice that things do not flow as they should as you try to read it through.

Attention to detail:

  • CV MistakesA lot of the CV and application mistakes listed can be rectified with just a little more attention to detail. In a frantic search for work it can feel like you have to apply ‘right now’ to every opportunity which can lead to you ruining your big chance. Spending a few more minutes on your masterpiece can really pay off!
  • Take a long look at the advert, the day to day activities in the role and the skills and experience required. We are ambitious folks at Youth Employment UK and always encourage others to follow suit but if you really are under qualified (they are looking for a Managing Director and you are looking for work experience) think before you apply. If the company sounds great and you don’t want to miss your chance then take a look at their website and consider spending your time researching other roles or reaching out to them directly to set you up on their job alerts or send them your CV speculatively for roles you are ready for – that is a much better use of your time and you wont look silly!
  • Check the job specification and advert two or three times, does it ask for a cover letter? If so write a new one! Yes, you can use some points from previous applications but you should ensure that you have tailored your cover letter to this role.
  • Pay close attention to the skills required, being qualified for a role doesn’t mean you have to have performed every activity but you should be ensuring that where you do not have direct experience you should be able to highlight where your skills are transferable.

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Tips from CV Library:

Lee Biggins, founder and managing director of CV-Library, comments: “It can be all too easy to fire out a generic CV, and unfortunately, many candidates do not understand the importance of tweaking their profile for each different role they apply for. The job market is extremely competitive right now, and if job hunters want to stand-out from the crowd, they need to consider the recruiter scanning through their CV at the other end, and think about how their skills and experience will be viewed.” 

The research compliments another study conducted by CV-Library in 2016, which found that recruiters believe that the following sections are most irrelevant on a CV: photos (25.85), jargon (18.6%), hobbies (10.8%), an outdated employment history (9.9%) and unnecessarily big words (7.7%).

Biggins continues: “We often find that candidates will try to come across in a professional manner by using jargon or unnecessarily big words, when really, we just want to know what they’ve worked on previously and what they can bring to the table for their next role. While all recruitment professionals will want to see that the candidate is human and does enjoy activities outside of work, that doesn’t mean listing every hobby that they’ve ever done! The best CVs are the ones that are concise, have a short opening paragraph to introduce themselves, and are followed up with a clear layout demonstrating why they’re best suited for the role.” 

Find out more about CV-Library at

For more information, please email or call 01536 513388.

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