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Most common CV mistakes to avoid

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Matt Darvill Blog, Career Advice, CV...

It’s the most important tool you have in your job search, yet a lot of applicants are guilty of rushing their CV, and might find that their applications fall at the first hurdle.

We’ve compiled a list of the most common mistakes candidate’s make on their CV. So you can give your applications the best possible chance.


The most obvious thing to make sure is that your CV is tailored to the role you are applying for. When writing about your experience, fit it to the job description and person specification, ensuring that you can demonstrate the essential criteria.

Being too vague

Using a lot of “buzzwords” (strategic, passionate, focussed) doesn’t help your application. It makes you seem less experienced, as you are not demonstrating any practice from your work. Instead, try and use the ‘STAR’ method when summing up your work experience. Summarising the situation, task, action and result will give evidence to support the fact that you meet the criteria; and make you stand out to the recruiter.

Keep it Simple

In an effort to make themselves stand out, people use brightly coloured backgrounds and pictures with ornate fonts to try and bring attention to their CV. However, it can often leave the recruiter frustrated. If the content is difficult to read, many will simply not bother and move on to the next application. It is far more important to have experience that you can demonstrate, clearly written on the page.

Spelling and Grammar

Last but certainly not least is spelling and grammar. Make use of a spell checker to ensure everything is written correctly, as it’s one of the biggest reasons people miss out on roles. Ensure that the tone is professional and slightly formal throughout, read it back to yourself out loud when it’s finished, to catch any errors.

These are the most common thing to bear in mind when trying to get an edge on other applicants. If you’ve found the advice here helpful, let us know in the comments below!