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15 CV Mistakes That Could Be Keeping You From Your Dream Job


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When you apply for a job, your first impression on your potential employer is heavily based on your curriculum vitae (CV). It can draw attention towards or away from you, depending on how meticulously and carefully it has been constructed. So it is important that this is done right! Here are a few mistakes you may be making while constructing your CV that may just be costing you your dream job!

1. An extremely long CV

Ideally your CV should not exceed one page, but if it must, then two pages is pretty much the limit. Anything longer than that has a very good chance of being tossed aside without even being read thoroughly.

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2. Huge and fancy fonts

Huge fonts give an impression that you are just trying to fill pages and do not actually have enough substance to put in your CV. It also looks immature and highly unprofessional. Also, fancy, cursive fonts are a big no-no. It's best to stick to a simple font that is easy to read and clean to look at.

3. Too much detail

Putting in too much detail about your work experience, internships or hobbies may actually bore the reader (your potential employer) and he/ she may not read it till the end for the same reason. Keep your CV concise and crisp, so that during the interview you can actually build on your CV and not end up repeating the exact same things you have put in it.

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4. Too little detail

This the other extreme of too much detail and this may turn out to be just as disastrous, if not more. Not giving any, enough or appropriate details (such as period of employment, your responsibilities, your designation) about the roles you have undertaken in the past, may make you sound unprofessional. Your potential employer will not be able to gauge your potential and your aptness for the profile he/ she is shortlisting candidates for.

Also read: 13 Useful Tips For Writing A Great Cover Letter With Your CV!

5. Not following the chronological order rule

Writing your work experience or education section in a haywire manner, is a huge put off. Put them in chronological order, your latest job/ qualification being the first one on the list. Else, you may end up confusing your reader.

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6. Being vague

Avoid using words like “numerous”, “a lot of”, “several” and “some”. These words usually fail to convey exact and specific information. This does not leave a very good impression on whoever reads the CV and often leads to confusion and ambiguity. So avoid putting anything that is vague and unclear in your CV. Give numbers wherever possible!

7. Too cool for school aesthetics

Unless the profile you are applying for requires you to showcase your aesthetics try to keep your CV simple, and leave out fancy backgrounds and icons. Even if your profile demands a certain level of creativity, do not go overboard with this. Aesthetics should be adding to your CV and not deviating attention from the important details.

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8. Incorrect spelling and grammar

This is just not acceptable. Make sure your proofread your CV twice or even three times before you press send. It is a good idea to have one or two other people to proofread it for you, as sometimes they may spot mistakes you tend to overlook, having written it yourself.

9. Poor formatting and huge chunks of text

Appropriate and consistent line and word spacing play a crucial role in making your CV clear and legible. Using too many formats and different size subheads on a whim is a bad, bad idea!

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10. Lacking keywords

When applying online, the job description has a few keywords which describe the job and are the essence of the role. Due to a lot of incoming applications a lot of companies scan these CVs through computers, which look for these keywords while scanning the various applications. So make sure you identify these words/ phrases and add them at appropriate places in your CV, else your CV may not even make the first cut.

11. Addressing to the wrong person/company

This is very careless mistake that happens when you are applying for multiple jobs. Before you hit send, make sure you have addressed it to the right company/ person. Do not address it to one company and send 5 other companies the same copy-pasted version.

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12. Too many personal details

Your potential employer may possibly be sifting through tens of CVs and may just spend about a minute on each. You do not want them to miss out the “real” substance in your CV just because they spent too many seconds reading your religion, political preferences and other irrelevant personal details. So unless they are imperative to your identity or directly influence the role you are applying for, keep the personal details section short and sweet.

Also read: 10 Common Job Interview Questions – And How To Answer Them!

13. Inappropriate filename

“My Cv2.docx” or “CVTemplate5 Ishita2.docx” are not appropriate filenames for your CV. The shortest, simplest way to name your CV is in the following format: <Your Name_CV> or <Your Name - CV>

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14. A weird photograph

Some CV formats require you to add a passport size photograph of yourself. In such a case, go for one that is clear and looks professional (in a formal attire). Weird poses and party pictures are not suitable for this space.

15. Forgetting the attachment in the email

When you write “PFA my CV” and forget to attach it and hit send, it just makes you seem hurried, unprepared and restless. Read your email and check your attachments before you hit send. It is just a matter of spending 15 extra seconds on the whole process.

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