5 worst mistakes you can make on your CV

Professional CV writing service StandOut CV helps job applicants perfect their CV before an interview, providing insight into what potential employers are looking for.

The company also gives advice on what not to do when putting your CV together, listing potential pitfalls in terms of their “damage rating”.

The list below contains the 5 worst mistakes a candidate can make on their CV when applying for a job – based on StandOut CV’s damage rating, and explanations from its CV Advice section.

5 worst CV mistakes

1. Not targeting your employer


Your CV must be targeted to appeal solely to the niche of employers and vacancies that you are applying to.

Not tailoring your CV is the most damaging mistake that you can make when writing your CV.

If your CV doesn’t include the skills and knowledge that your target employers are looking for, you won’t be shortlisted – no matter how well written and structured your CV is.

2. Overly simple language


Your CV is supposed to be a professional document and the language you use plays an important part in that.

If you use overly simplistic terminology throughout your CV, you run the risk of appearing as an average candidate with poor communication skills.

Avoid writing sentences like: “Helping out with different important tasks to free up time for the manager.”

It looks very simple and isn’t very descriptive due to the basic wording.

3. Ordering previous jobs incorrectly


Roles should be listed in reverse chronological order; meaning that you start with your current role at the top and work your way down to your oldest role.

The reason for this is that recruiters want to know what your current abilities are and they will study your current or most recent role in great detail to find out.

They are not hugely interested in the roles you did 5 or 10 years ago, as you’ve probably progressed quite a lot since then.

4. Lies


Lies on your CV such as improved qualifications or fabricated experience are not advised.

Do some people lie on their CV and get away with? Sure, some people probably do… but it’s not worth the risk.

Diligent recruiters will look into facts that don’t add up, so you could find yourself getting caught out in the early stages and even blacklisted from certain agencies.

5. Too little on your current role

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Your current role is one of the most important factors in your CV.

Most recruiters will jump straight to your current role and study it in detail.

The reason for this is that your current role gives recruiters the greatest indication of what you’re currently capable of.

If you have rushed the addition of your latest job to your CV and you’re not including all of your newly-acquired skills and experience, then you are doing yourself a great disservice.

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5 worst mistakes you can make on your CV