CVs….what are the common mistakes?

When reviewing CVs for a role or writing your own there are some common mistakes.  Applicants need to ensure they are at the top of the list and not placed on the ‘reject’ pile because of these mistakes.

Spelling mistakes, typos and grammatical errors – when one of the competencies of a role is ‘attention to detail’ the last thing a recruiter wants to see are these types of mistakes.  Continual changing of a CV can result in dates being missed and important points being dropped.

 Keep it short – the job of a CV is to ‘win’ the interview.  It has to be short and contain only the relevant information.  CVs that are long get very little of a recruiter’s time.

Relevant and appropriate information – information in CVs should always start with the most recent first whether the section relates to qualifications or employment.  Ideally the CV should start with a few lines linking the skills, competencies and experience of the applicant to the role applied for.  This has to capture the recruiter and invite them to read more.  Applicants that criticise or divulge confidential information about past employers should only ever make the ‘reject’ list.

Presentation – for a CV to hold the interest of a recruiter it should look clean, tidy and pleasing to the eye.  Flowers and frilly bits can make someone look ‘fluffy’ and if it’s not ‘fluffy’ the recruiter needs then this adds no value.  Information should be aligned, spacing consistent and absolutely no rips, coffee cup stains or brown bits stuck to the pages!  The filing bin should be the only place for CVs like this.

Lies or a manipulation of the truth – an applicant lying about how long they worked for a company, what their job was and why they left is a big no, no.  With access to so much information the lies can easily be found out.  It is vital that reference checks get done and the information given by the applicant confirmed.  Starting a job with lies does not bode well for the future relationship.

A CV that stands out is one that avoids these errors.  Once an applicant gets past this stage and ‘wins’ the interview it is then up to them to sell themselves to the recruiter.  Look for the right attitude and not just the right skills and experience.   Skills can be taught but attitude is generally fixed and hard to change.

OurHR provides bespoke recruiting with no fixed fee.  If you would like to discuss your specific needs or require assistance with any of your ‘people’ issues then please do contact me on or 027 677 0129.