Your CV – an important document, a reflection of yourself and a way of getting an employer’s attention. There are many guides out there on how to conduct your CV, what to put in it, how to set it out and so on. But did you know there are plenty of things you really SHOULDN’T do to your CV? Common mistakes could put your CV at the back of the pile when it comes to sorting through candidates, so you need to make sure you get it right. After all, many companies have hundreds of CVs sent to them for just one vacancy, so your CV needs to stand out (and not for the wrong reasons!)
Below are some definite no-nos when it comes to creating and sending your CV:
Using an unknown program to create your CV: You should use a program like Microsoft Word. It is a format virtually all PCs will be able to open. Don’t use any basic program, like Notepad, and don’t use anything too complex which employers won’t be able to access. It is also worth saving your CV in a PDF format. This means that your document’s formatting won’t jump around the screen. You can spend a long time getting your CV looking just perfect in Word, only to find that your employer’s older version of Word won’t access those certain fonts or displays the page in a haphazard way. Sending both Microsoft Word and PDF copies means you can guarantee your CV can be seen how you want it.
Adding loads of pictures: Some people put a photo of themselves on their CV. Generally in the UK, employers don’t like this (read more about this issue here.) However you view this issue, you definitely shouldn’t add other images (you working on a reception desk, you behind the counter in KFC…) Although it may look pretty, it is unprofessional and unnecessary.
Sending CVs to employers that have nothing to do with your field: Want to work as a solicitor but sending your CV to a doctor’s surgery? Want to work as a receptionist and sending your CV to a fast food chain? Make sure your CV is getting sent to the right companies. It should be tailored to their industry and shouldn’t be sent out as a round-robin style begging letter. Check out services like ten minutes with, who can match you to the right kinds of employers depending on your unique skills.
Bad grammar/typos/awful spelling: There’s nothing worse than picking up a CV and noticing an error immediately. Make sure you check through your CV, and get a few other people to cast an eye over it too. They may notice something that you don’t! Don’t lower your chances of getting picked for an interview by simple mistakes such as spelling or sentence structure. Common mistakes include ‘hte’ instead or ‘the’ or ‘to’ instead of ‘too.’