CV do nots!!


Did you know that most employers take between 10-15 seconds to scan read CVs when sifting through a pile of job applications? That’s not long to grab their attention!

Here in brief are some of the CV “crimes” I have seen over the years. I impart this information to you because, as they say on the cop shows, knowledge is power…

1. Do not include a photo of yourself. It can work both ways. If you are attractive you may be seen as a bimbo (men included!);  if you are, let’s say, less than an oil painting your CV will be met with “Jeez…” and possibly put to the bottom of the pile. It’s sad but it’s true.  Let your skills and achievements speak for themselves.

2. Watch your spelling. Spelling mistakes will make you look like an illiterate fool.

3. Keep it brief. Don’t waffle on page after page. Try and stick to two sides. (The only exception :  If you have a very senior management/specialist job history)

4. Don’t use a silly font. Stick to Times New Roman or something similar. Nothing swirly or illegible that would not be easily scan read.

5.  Always put your contact details on your CV and make sure that you include your email address. However, make sure that your email address isn’t something like “Ivegot”, make sure it is sensible!

6. Don’t put, under the hobbies and interests section, “drinking and socialising”. This screams that you will be too hungover to turn up to work. I have seen numerous CVs that ONLY have this under hobbies and interests!

7. Don’t make stuff up. You will quickly get found out at interview!

8. Don’t criticise your last employer.  It doesn’t look professional and make you look like you have an attitude problem.

9. Don’t list your salary you earned for each job. This can mean that you may under price or over price yourself before even getting an interview.

10. Don’t attach your CV to an email to a prospective employer without a “covering letter” within the body of the email. “Hi, please find attached my CV, thanks, Dave” is not going to encourage an employer to open your CV. You need to whet their appetite with a brief outline of what you can offer them. And don’t, DEFINITELY DON’T end your email with xx. I’ve seen it many times! People really do!


One Response to “CV do nots!!”

  1. Louise says:

    I always advise people that the CV needs to tell the employer just enough that they want to interview them to find out more, and the covering letter should tell them just enough that they want to read the CV to find out more.

    Using words from within the job description/advert help to catch the eye of the employer too, as long as it’s not just quoting their ad verbatim 🙂

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