Common CV mistakes

Spelling mistakes

Many recruiters discard a CV with mistakes in spelling or grammar. Get someone you trust to read over your CV. Use the spell checker in your word processing program, but do not rely upon it.


Do not put this at the top of your CV. You do not need to tell an employer that your document is a CV; that will be obvious. Instead put your name at the top of the page, and ensure that it stands out. Use a font between 18 and 26 pt. (see examples).

Irrelevant information

Your CV must be written with a particular job in mind. If you try to write the same CV for lots of jobs to save time, your CV may contain information that is irrelevant and of no interest to the employer. This may result in your CV being discarded. Ensure your CV is focussed on the job you are applying for.

Too long

Your CV should ideally be no more than two pages long (three is sometimes acceptable for people in senior management or academic positions).

Complicated formatting

Poor use of styles and formatting can render your CV unreadable. Avoid boxes, shading, italics, colours or images. It is unprofessional and is often the first and last thing an employer will see on your CV before it hits the bin!

Missing sections

Often people forget to put a Personal Profile section on their CV. This is the hardest part to write but must never be left out. It is where you have the chance to demonstrate why your abilities and experience make you right for the job, and to really sell yourself to the employer.

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