6 Major CV Mistakes That Are Stopping You From Landing That Job

Sent out, like, a gazillion CVs already, and not heard a thing back? These big CV boo boos could be to blame...


Are you on the prowl for the perf paying job but finding that no one is biting the bait when it comes to your CV?

So many of us fall into the trap of just lashing out a hastily put together two-pager, without too much thought, especially when you have 15 jobs to apply for in half an hour of free time. But sending out a stock CV without proper attention to layout, spelling or a level of detail that’s tailored to the job in question, can cost you that precious first interview in one swift click of a delete key. #ouch

We found out where you’re going wrong.

1. Wishy-washy content:

A one size fits all approach is rarely successful in today’s competitive work place. Careers consultant Carmel Morrissey advises us to “study the job spec carefully- make sure that all our relevant skills and personal qualities are clearly highlighted in our CV.” Remember bosses will spend an average of 30 seconds on your CV before making a decision to read on or not. Harsh but true, so you need to ensure that a potential boss can recognise your suitability at a glance. Got it.

2. Spelling mistakes

Even with a wealth of editing tools available these days, spelling mistakes are still a blot on jobseekers’ CVs. How can you make sure you don’t slip up when it comes to typos? First, make sure you read over your CV numerous times. Run it through spellcheck on Word, and watch out for any pesky American English corrections. Another handy tool is web-based app Grammarly, it claims to be ten times more circumspect than any word processor. Ask a friend to read it. Ask another friend. Sure, you might feel like you’re magnifying the self-loathing that is writing a CV, but you may stop yourself looking like a tool to someone who could end up paying you money every month.

3. Bad grammar

So we can’t say this enough times, bad grammar is a no no. Double check for simple mistakes such as “your” versus “you’re” , “then” or “than”. They’re easier than you think to make and indicate a lack of attention to detail that no amount of uni degrees can compensate for.

4. Messy Messy

It’s not all about looks, but a poorly organised CV is unnecessary. Choose a generic font that’s easy on the eye (so none of this Comic Sans or Impact malarkey) and keep the structure simple; your name and contact details at the top and a section on your experience, education, skills and any other relevant info if you have space. Plus a big gripe for many employers: the words ‘Curriculum Vitae’ written at the top of a CV. It’s likely that they’ll clock on to what it is as soon as it opens in Microsoft Word. Duh?

5. Information overload

If your CV is longer than two pages of A4, you’ve probably included some info that you don’t really need. We recommend giving it a trim by tailoring it to the specific position that you’re applying for. A profile is like a mini advertisement placed directly after your personal details to try to capture the attention of the employer and summarize why you are a great candidate. This is your elevator pitch and remember this needs to be tailored to the role that you are applying to.

6. Under selling yourself

So it’s a well known fact that when recruiters are shortlisting candidates they will have a list of required skills that a candidate must have. So ladies spell out your achievements loud and clear with examples. That way it shows you got it going on in the skills department. Just be careful to not waffle on and on – we mean using five words when one would do. When you’re writing, don’t tell the reader what you are – prove it to them by telling them what you’ve achieved in the past, and why it would make you good at the job you’re applying for. This way, they’ll be able to tell that you have all of these great qualities anyway! Remember, less is sometimes more.

By Jennifer Conway.