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The 8 most common CV mistakes and how to avoid them

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Ensuring your CV stands out from the crowd is no easy task. 

For each position a hiring manager recruits for they receive on average around 75 applications and research suggests you have only 15-20 seconds scanning time to impress. 

The traditional Word CV as we know it is rapidly being supported with additional channels of showcasing an individual’s talent. LinkedIn, online portfolios and candidate videos are all on the rise. 

But the CV is still very much in demand from UK employers. Here’s our 8 tips on the most common CV mistakes to avoid.

 

1.    Irrelevant work experiences 

The petrol station shift, the tills at the supermarket and the warehouse job over the summer were all great life shaping experiences, but there’s no room for them on your CV. Keep any experiences you include current and relevant to the job and person specification you’re applying for. 

 

2.    Don’t get personal 

Remove any details like religious references, marital status, and age. You are not required to include these on your CV. Remove any reference to your current and past salaries as well as older qualifications such as GCSE’s.

 

3.    Lies! 

Embellishing your achievements on your CV is never a good idea. Pretending you are the CEO of a company, setting up a charity or going to one of the UK’s top universities that don’t exist  won’t do you any favours. Stick to the facts and focus on your main achievements and accomplishments rather than the made up ones. 

 

4.    Inconsistent formatting

Switching between one and two columns, different size and outdated styles of fonts make an unpleasant read for the hiring manager’s eye. Choose a style and stick with it. Break your CV up with clear headings and bullet points. 

 

5.    Less than professional email address 

How would you feel about reading the CV of someone with the email address Clubmonster@gmail.com or beerforbreakfast@hotmail.com?  Amusing as it is, it doesn’t convey a professional image. Keep your private life separate when it comes to email addresses. 

 

6.    Photo bomb 

Unless you’ve specifically been asked to provide one don’t take up valuable space on your CV with a photo. Include a link to your LinkedIn profile which will already have a more detailed background into your skills and abilities as well as your professional head and shoulder shot.

 

7.    Poor grammar 

There’s no excuse for spelling mistakes and bad grammar. Proof read your CV, once for spelling mistakes, once for grammar and then read it backwards to pick up any final mistakes. If you’re unsure have a friend or colleague check through it for you. 

 

8.    Hobbies 

Like spending time with your friends and family…who doesn’t?  If your hobbies are relevant to the company you're applying to they could help you get an interview, but its preferable to include any examples of volunteer or charity work.

You have limited space, so  use it wisely!

If you need help with formatting your CV, check out Hudson’s CV templates for the latest help and advice.

 
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