Common CV mistakes to avoid

CV advice

It happens to the best of us - you've sent your CV off to your dream job, and you're left drumming your fingers impatiently waiting for a reply. You hear nothing, nothing, and then? A polite rejection email comes through that leaves you feeling like no one even read your CV in the first place.

Where did it go wrong? You know you'd be great for the job, and that you've got the skills that are needed to succeed. It all comes back to the CV. Did you know that hiring managers and recruiters will only look at your CV for about 7 seconds? Whilst you can read all about what should be in your CV here, today we're going to walk you through some common CV mistakes that will often mean that you end up on the wrong pile of applicants.


This is a key thing to get right, because your contact details are often at the top of your CV and the first things that get seen. Even though you might be really fond of the address that you set up when you were 12, it doesn't set the right tone to head up your CV. It's free and easy to set up a separate email address for job applications, and we'd suggest where possible that you go with to keep it simple and professional.

2) Topsy turvy

The way that you lay your CV out is key after the first few lines you want the hiring manager to be convinced that you're the right person for the job, and call you there and then! This won't happen if your best selling points and most recent experience are buried at the bottom of your CV. The structure that you use is essential to your success, for downloadable templates of CVs that you can edit and use, see our CV templates.

3) War and peace

We get it you're a fantastic candidate, and you want to make sure that the people handling your application get it too. Unfortunately, if you hand in a CV thats 5,000 words long across 7 pages, all that they're going to see is that you couldn't refine your information. Keep your CV to two pages at the most, and only include what's really necessary. Your key information might change for each job that you apply for, but the two page rule should always come out on top.

4) Spelling errrors

Annoying, isn't it? There's nothing worse than seeing a fantastic CV and then noticing a spelling error that spoils it all. Make sure that you put your CV through rigorous testing before sending it out - this one can make all the difference!

5) When the truth hurts

Never, ever put anything on your CV that isn't absolutely true. A shocking 60% of CVs are found by recruiters to have lies on them - don't make yours one of them!

For more tips and tricks to create your perfect CV, check out our latest video here.