10 CV errors to avoid

When you write your CV you need to avoid following pitfalls:

1. Appear unprofessional
Your CV needs to look professional. Don’t handwrite it. Don’t print it in unusual colours. Stick to black. Use a standard font such as Arial, Helvetica or Times New Roman. Anything fancy will degrade it.

2. Typos
A typo might be just that, but to someone who reads a lot of CVs it’ll stand out like a sore thumb. It signals that you don’t have eye for detail. Fix it. Use your spell checker and let someone else check your CV. Don’t miss out on the opportunity by not checking your spelling.

3. Don’t be clever
Be straight, don’t use jokes, play on words and flowery language. Be factual and to the point as the recruiter will need facts, not examples of how well you master your language.

4. Irrelevance
Recruiters are only interested in one thing: Are you a good candidate or not? Focus on this and don’t mention things irrelevant to the job. If it doesn’t add to your application leave it out.

5. Jargon
Recruiters don’t need to be impressed by jargon. They’re plain speaking professionals. Jargon creates an air of pompousness and you want to avoid this at all cost. A recruiter will switch of if he doesn’t understand your jargon and that will mean you loose your opportunity. So speak plain English (Or German, Dutch, Italian, whatever your language.)

6. Embellishments
Or plain lies. Don’t do it. The road to success is littered with (even famous) people caught out lying on their CVs, in interviews or about references. You will get found out. And won’t get the job.

7. Be boring
Just a list of achievements won’t impress. Mention why you were successful. What was your impact. Mention that your actions resulted in a quadrupling of profits, a larger market share, etc. This is more impressing than “I reorganised my department”.

8. Waffle
Don’t be longwinded. Don’t baffle recruiters with science. Be to the point. Recruiters have a very short attention span.

9. Personalise your CV
Don’t put anything about your personal life on your CV. Your CV is all about your work achievements, not about the fact that you’re dad/mum to 3 wonderful kids, have 5 goats and a chicken shed. Stick to what the recruiter needs to know and nothing else.

10. CV speak
Effective CVs are to the point and written in plain language. Don’t use vague language such as “assisted in the enabling of” or “optimised the endurance of”. Leave that vagueness to politicians. They have nothing better to do. (Unless you want to become a politician….)


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