6 mistakes you're probably making on your CV

Sally Bracegirdle
Head of Marketing

Making mistakes on your CV is easily done.

Happily, those mistakes are also easily fixed.

Whether you're worrying that you've made mistakes on your CV or you just want to verify that you haven't, here are 6 very common CV slip-ups - and how to set them right.




1. Not tailoring it properly.

If you’re able to fire off the same CV for multiple jobs, then it's nowhere near tailored enough. When an employer looks at your CV, it should be very clear to them not that you want a job, but that you want, and are the right person for, the particular job you're applying for at their particular company. If your CV is too general - and therefore generic - it won't stand out to whoever reads it and could seriously hinder your chances of making it to the next stage.     


2. Providing no evidence for your skills.

It’s no good listing all of the relevant skills you've acquired through your education and work experience if you’re not providing any examples of how you’ve used them successfully. So, rather than just saying, for example, that you're highly organised or particularly skilled in using Photoshop, talk about a particular event you're proud to have organised or a document you designed. This way, the employer doesn't just have to take your word for it. 


3. Including irrelevant experience.

As easy as it is to feel the need to tell employers about everything you've ever done, if what you’re talking about doesn't in any way prove why you should get the job you’re applying for, it shouldn't be on your CV. Be as selective and specific as possible, deciding what to include based on the job description. If you don’t have much relevant experience, or much experience at all, your focus should be on the transferable skills you’ve gained through education and previous jobs.


4. Not showing any of your personality.

Your cover letter will provide you with more of an opportunity to be a little less formal, but you don't need to be a robot on your CV. Writing a short, succinct paragraph to introduce yourself and highlight what you're looking for in a career (which will, of course, always be exactly what the job can offer to you), as well as listing some interests outside of work (even better if these align with the company's culture), are great ways to personalise your CV. It's not obligatory, but it might just be the thing that makes you stand out from the crowd.


5. Being unoriginal.

It only takes a quick Google search to find a huge number of templates and key word generators to use when writing your CV. Although some of these can help to get you started, they should never overshadow your own style and voice. Always make sure you're re-wording things how you would say them and ensuring everything is suitable for the job you're applying for.


6. Not checking for those tiny mistakes.

When you've looked at something for as long as you do your CV, tiny mistakes can easily slip through the net. Most employers won't hold the odd typo against you if the rest of your CV is promising, but it's always worth triple checking, especially if you've said that you have a keen eye for detail! Ideally, get someone else to check over it for you, as they'll be more likely to spot the errors.



Looking for a good CV template?

The GradTouch CV Template is free to download and comes with some top tips on how to make it your own.