The Most Common CV Mistakes And How To Avoid Them

Writing your CV is one of the most important parts of your job search preparation. The right CV will be your ticket to a job interview that could potentially be your dream position, so it is crucial that you get it right in order to have the best chance of making a good first impression. Your CV is a written record of exactly who you are as a professional in your industry, detailing your experience up until the point of application.

While writing it may sound simple, there are plenty of mistakes that jobseekers commonly make in their CV. Understanding how to create a CV that will impress – not exhaust – your potential employer will be of importance. What are the common CV mistakes that you should be avoiding, and how can you correct them?

Too Many Pages


Your CV is not a novel, nor is it a four-page in-depth history of every intricate detail of your working life to date. Rather, it should be a ‘best of the best’ list. Include your previous experience, but do not dwell too much on the menial tasks that mean little in the position you are applying for. If your sentences are too long and full of words that make little sense, the employer may simply not want to read any further.

Make your CV easy to skim-read. Sentences should begin by saying what you did in the role and the result that it brought for the business. Your CV should always aim to highlight both who you are as a professional and what you have been able to do for your previous employer. Make your CV no more than 2 pages long, keep it concise, and it will be far easier to read and comprehend. At Search Consultancy’s recruitment agency Manchester and each of our other locations across the UK, we can help you to narrow your CV down with ease.

Formatting Problems

Looking over your CV, you may think that you have it nailed down. What is that spelling mistake? Is that a grammar error? Why is this sentence bullet-pointed but the others are not? Formatting errors, spelling mistakes and grammatical problems can make your CV go from professional to sloppy, and many employers won’t give a second glance to a CV that shows little care may have been taken in making it presentable and easy to read.

Your experience is invaluable, but so is having a CV that can impress before they have even started to read the fine print. Well-formatted CVs can have that extra ‘wow’ factor they may be looking for. Jobs that require IT literacy, if you are applying for administration jobs, for example, will need a CV that shows you can format a document well. Keep your CV looking clean, concise, and free of grammar errors.

Irrelevant Experience and Skills


A CV that is too long will begin to discuss skills and experience that do not apply to the vacant job position. Knowing how to sort your information by priority and relevance to the job role will make the application process easier for both you and the employer. Consider yourself in their shoes and imagine what they would like to hear from you. Would marketing and communications jobs in Crawley want to hear about your experience as a part-time chef, or would they want to hear about the ways in which you helped promote your products and business with daily meal deal creations to attract customers?

Be critical of yourself and your experience. It is the best way to ensure that you are able to show off the skills that matter. Too many details of smaller, irrelevant skills will only make you appear to be unable to decipher what is important and can make your CV look too general. Think about the role, and show off what you have previously achieved through your prior work experience that the employer would like to see.

Too Much Personal Information

Often, we see a CV that is very light on the professional working side but is full of personal information. While a small personal statement is good to show who you are while in and out of work, too much personal information can potentially overshadow your professional experience. Your employer does not need to know your weight, height, or what your favourite film is. You can say that you enjoy watching movies in your free time, but keep it at that. If you have personal reasons for gaps in employment, note them down, but do not dwell too much on them.

Be human, but don’t be too relaxed in your CV, or you won’t be taken seriously as a professional. You need to have enough information for them to be able to judge your appropriateness for the job, after all.

Double-Check Your CV

Once your CV is complete, re-read it at least another two times. There is always something that you will remind yourself you could add, or you may send it away and think that you could have added just a little extra piece of information. Have a friend proof-read it too if possible for a fresh perspective to catch those little spelling mistakes, too.

At Search Consultancy, we are available every step of the way to find your ideal job. Our recruitment agency Glasgow, and all our other excellent agencies nationwide, can assist with any problems you may have. Get in touch today, and start writing a CV that will gain you your dream job.

Connect with Search


Search Awards

Sign-up to an Account

So we can send you job alerts that match your criteria directly to your inbox.