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5 classic CV mistakes – and how to avoid them

How to avoid CV mistakes

Getting your CV right is easily the most important part of the job application. But you’re not going to get past a recruiter or a tricky HR manager if you pull one of the most common CV mistakes. Here are five to avoid….

  1. Always, always tailor your CV to the role. Many job applications go through software before they make it to a human, being scanned for keywords that match the original job advert. Make sure yours has the best chance of getting through – and impressing the person at the other end – by tweaking your CV to the job.
  2. Simple one, but so obvious: use the spellcheck. It’s a feature built into Word and there are free tools to use online if you don’t have it. Don’t rule yourself out of the running with a basic typo.
  3. Don’t go over two pages. The ideal CV length is two sides — recruiters are busy people, and increasingly have a large number of CVs to sift through. Don’t give them an essay to read.
  4. Explain the gaps. Gaps in employment happen to everyone, but don’t just leave a vague white space on your CV. Employers don’t want to guess what you were up to between jobs, so briefly explain that you were out of work and point to any transferable skills you might have picked up along the way.
  5. One easy and often overlooked CV blunder is having an embarrassing e-mail address. thefunnycookie@hotmail.com might have been hilarious when you were 14, but you need a simple firstname.lastname@somewheresensible.com format when applying for jobs.

For more advice on writing your CV visit the National Careers Service.