Holding a CV or resume

An employer may not even bother to read about what you have to offer if you make a CV mistake. With so many other candidates equally as qualified and error free, it would be hard pressed to think of a reason why yours should move to the ‘yes’ pile.

To avoid making a faux pas on your CV, here are the 4 most common CV mistakes and how to avoid them.

1. Spelling and grammatical mistakes

We thought we’d start with the most popular mistake made, and one in which employers hate the most. Making a spelling or grammatical error is a huge no-no, and even just the smallest error will likely result in rejection.

This kind of mistake is just not easy to forgive, especially now we live in a world of spell checkers and Grammarly. It shows that the candidate could be likely to make more mistakes down the line, and lacks the attention to detail required for any role. Accuracy is always important, and this kind of simple mistake sets the seed of doubt in the mind of the employer.

Avoid a spelling or grammatical error by triple checking your CV before you apply. Finally, ask at least one other person to have a look too. Two pairs of eyes are always better than one!

2. A lack of performance

Most job seekers fail to recognise the importance of past performances, accomplishments and achievements. The first thing they think about when it comes to the work experience section is how many tasks and responsibilities they can list. But you won’t win any prizes for this huge list, and will probably just come second at best.

The employer is mainly interested in how you’ve performed during your career. How you show this on your CV is down to you, but we would recommend considering the use of examples or even figures to state your case.

A career in sales should mean that you detail your achievements, targets hit, contracts negotiated, total amount of units sold, and so on. A marketing manager will aim to provide details of successful advertising campaigns. A customer service team member could discuss how they handled customer complaints or provide an example of customer excellence.

See: How to list your achievements on your CV (Wikijob)

3. Too many cliché statements

Without any evidence of performance, the employer will find it difficult to view your CV as credible. They cannot hope to believe your bold and cliché statements if you don’t provide any examples as a backup.

The most common CV cliché statements are:

  • I am a great communicator
  • I can work well as part of a team
  • I am hard working
  • I learn quickly

The problem with most cliché statements is that they lack any substance. They don’t provide the employer with anything to go on. In addition, they are rather obvious statements. The employer would likely say, ‘Well, I hope you are a hard worker otherwise I wouldn’t hire you’.

Hard working is a trait that every employee would expect to hold. So by stating the obvious on your CV you are devaluing the entire application.

4. Incorrect contact details

Miss out a letter or number from your email address or mobile number will mean that the employer can’t get hold of you. You may never realise that the employer wanted to see you for an interview if they cannot get in touch.

Some employers also have a preference with how they contact potential candidates for interviews. So if the mobile number you’ve supplied results in a ‘this number is not currently in use’, they may think it’s a bogus application. They don’t have the time to try another method of communication when there are so many other applicants with accurate details.

Carl Thomas

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