1. Lack of a cover letter: A cover letter is equally as important as the CV it accompanies. A cover letter allows you to introduce yourself, identify the job you are targeting and add meat to the bones of your CV.
2. Poor Spelling & Grammar: It sounds obvious, but this is one of the most common mistakes in CV writing. Do your content justice – check, check and double check.
3. Length: There is no set rule but make sure you keep it relevant. A graduate CV should span no more than two pages. Technical or academic CVs may be significantly longer (4-5 pages). Keep it as short and as sharp as possible, packed full of facts so that the reader can see your key selling points at a glance.
4. Poor visual layout: To increase readability, your CV should use bold and variant text sizes. Make headings stand out. Use lists. If you must paragraph, then keep it short and ensure that key points stand out by underlining them.
5. Structure: Your personal details and profile should always be at the top of the document, but what next? Career History or Education? You should begin with what is most relevant to the job you are targeting. A university graduate, who has funded themselves through university with bar jobs, should begin with their Education (at this stage in their career, this is their most valuable asset).
6. Irrelevant information: Do your research, learn about the job you are targeting and tailor your CV towards it. A detailed rundown of a telesales job you undertook five years ago isn’t relevant to the accountancy job are targeting today, but the transferrable skills you obtained whilst in this employment, such as team leadership and communication, are. Irrelevant information wastes valuable space and will dilute the importance of other content on your CV.
7. Gaps in employment history: These will not go unnoticed and in some cases might arouse suspicion. If you took a year out to travel, then give details, use it to your advantage, it could add value to your CV.