Friday 4 January 2013


The 5 Biggest Mistakes When Writing Your CV and How to Avoid Them

This is a guest post by Richard McMunn, director and founder of How2become 

The job market has been hit by a very troubling decline in recent years, and though the situation seems to be improving, the job market is still an extremely competitive place and this means that you have to do everything you can to give yourself the greatest chance of being successful in your job search. Once you have found a job that you want to apply for, you will start to put your CV together. There are a lot of common mistakes that are made in putting together a CV, and these small mistakes might actually cost you the job. So here are 5 common mistakes that people make when writing their CV, be aware of them so that you can avoid them.

1. The first mistake that people make is not properly proof reading their CV. It is a written document and as such it must be edited. If it is not then silly typing and grammatical errors can sneak through. The resume that you send in needs to be perfect: with perfect grammar and perfect language. If it is not your potential employers will see it as a sign that either you can’t write a simple document or that you are too sloppy to check through your own work. They will assume that you will take this into your job, and not pay any more attention to your CV.

2. In some cases people think that vagueness is good on a CV. Perhaps you feel that you don’t have enough experience and so you write vague things to seem as if you have done more than you have. This is not the right way to write a CV, you need to be specific about what you have done. The more detail you can give the better your CV will be.

3. One of the biggest mistakes that people make is thinking that you can use the same CV to apply for different jobs. This is the quickest way to get your CV tossed aside. Employers expect your CV to be tailored to the position you are applying for so that it can demonstrate how you will fit into the position. It is fine to have a template to work from, but tailor each CV to each specific application.

4. It is easy when writing a CV to simply list the duties that you have been responsible for. This is not as interesting to employers as what you have actually accomplished. So focus on this rather than on your basic duties. For example, rather than saying you ran a day-care centre; explain that you developed several daily programmes for children of pre-school age.

5. Despite what is commonly thought, there is no standard length for a CV. A CV is your chance to get an employer to take notice and this means presenting yourself in the best possible light. Don’t cut your CV short just for the sake of it, but by the same token, don’t write an unnecessarily long CV either. Say what you need to say, include what you need to include and leave it at that.

There are other common mistakes that people make in writing their CV’s but these are some of the worst. Simply being aware of them might enable you to avoid them.

Richard McMunn is the director and founder of How2become; the UK's leading career and recruitment specialist. For the last 7 years How2become has helped applicants prepare for and pass recruitment processes and assessment centres in order to secure their dream job. You can also find How2become on Google Plus

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