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CV Mistakes to Avoid

CV Resources
Posted on: 04/02/2015

For some of you it may have been a while since you last looked at your CV but for others it might be a document you edit on a regular basis. Whether it's been a few years or a few days, editing your CV to find a new job is paramount. From grammatical errors to CVs that are three pages long, we have put together ten classic CV mistakes that you should avoid.

1: Spelling & Grammar

It doesn't matter if the job role you are applying for doesn't involve a lot of writing, not being able to deliver this key skill can show a lack of care which can be off putting to any manager. We advise you to get someone to proof read it or even read it aloud, if it doesn't sound correct, it probably won't read very well.

2: Avoid Waffling

It is essential to get the key responsibilities over on a CV, writing bullet points rather than long pieces of text will help the employer pick out what they are looking for. They want to know the important parts of your work history, not your life history.

3: Adapt Your CV

Each employer is looking for a CV and cover letter that is relevant to the job vacancy. As all roles are different, you should always make small adaptions so that it matches the specific requirements. Show them that you understand what it is they want from you and how your skill set is suited for the role. If you write a one-size-fits all CV for a range of different job roles, the likelihood is that employers will ignore it.

4: Highlight Your Duties

Having a unique CV is really important, so try and avoid reeling off a job description and find ways to show what you actually achieved on paper. A company wouldn't have paid you to just sit there, think of a time when you completed a project, found a time-saving activity or even increased sales. You must have had some impact in your previous company and all employers would want to know what you can offer.

5: Less is Often More

Whether you have had ten jobs or two, being concise and clear over two pages is important. Make your sections stand out and use bullet points to showcase your duties and achievements. Two pages is more than enough room to persuade a new employer to invite you in for an interview. Employers are busy people and don't have time to read five or six pages of your career history. Less is more.

6: Leaving Out Information

Leaving a job role (or two) off your CV can be on purpose or a moment of forgetfulness, either way leaving a gap in your career history can be deemed as a negative thing. It's better to not let your employers guess what you were doing during this time as they will always think the worst. Even if you were unemployed, you may have picked up some transferable skills which can always help your chances.

7: Clichés

Unfortunately using such phrases as "good communicator", "works well in a team" or "committed", unless you can provide evidence of this, using these terms are completely irrelevant. If you've worded your achievements and duties well throughout your CV then it will be evident that you already obtain these skills. If you feel that you need to use one of these phrases then try and link it to something you've done such as, "I used my communication skills to build an excellent rapport with the companies clients."

8: Being Vague

It's quite easy to become a bit complacent when writing your CV, so producing lines such as "I'm seeking a challenging position that will help me further my career." doesn't give an employer anything to go on. Instead, give them something specific to work with and make it relevant to their company and the job role, such as "I'm looking for a challenging entry-level role in an engineering position that allows me contribute my skills and experience to the oil and gas industry."

9: Bad Design

A CV should be a straightforward and concise piece of writing, unless you are applying for a design role, the layout and creativity needs to take a back seat. There is no need to have different fonts and texts throughout your CV as this will just give someone a headache. Black and white text on a clean design is perfectly acceptable. Show your CV to other people before sending it out and get their opinion.

10: Incorrect Personal Details

Have you sent out your perfect CV to quite a few employers but haven't heard back yet? It could be down to the fact that you've written down the wrong phone number. As the use of email is becoming increasingly popular with people nowadays, make sure your email is correct before you send your CV out. On the subject of emails, if you have a comical email address, it's wise to change it and get one that's formal and includes your name (if possible). You also don't want to have your old address on their either, the last thing you need is an acceptance letter being sent to the wrong house.

If you follow our simple tips, you should be able to construct a perfect CV and impress any employer. If you are currently looking for a job in the energy industry, please feel free to look at our vacancies database.CV Writing Advice