How to write a cv: 5 common mistakes

In the blog post, Rebecca our eCommerce Candidate Consultant reveals the 5 things you should leave OFF when writing your CV. 

At every digital marketing recruitment agency, hundreds of CV's are sent through from candidates hoping to find the right role for them. So what are the most common CV mistakes? This handy guide looks at five ways to improve your CV so that you give the best impression to a potential employer.

1.   Quality, not quantity! Try and make sure that your CV is less than two pages long.

A CV that is too long is a big no-no! It may seem tempting to write lines and lines to add more detail to your work experience but a CV needs to be focused and to the point. A CV is something that should be used to get you to interview stage, and it is during the interview that you should take the time to discuss your skills and experience in more detail. I have come across employers who will not even look at a CV if it is over two pages long. Chances are, the employer has dozens of CVs to read through as well as yours and not a lot of time to spare, so a writing a six page CV is not going to do you any favours and could even be a waste of your time and effort.

2.   It's a Personal Statement, not a Personal Essay…

After your name and contact details, it is a good idea to write a personal statement. Your personal statement should be a focused, winning summary of the key points in your CV. This allows the employer to have a good idea of what the candidate is about before reading the actual CV. It can also be an interesting insight into how well you prioritise information, so avoid rambling on for half a page on what you've learned since your fist job! A medium sized paragraph is enough.

3.   Keep it relevant!

This might sound obvious, but try to make sure that the work experience and skills that you include on your CV are recent and relevant to the role that you are applying for. If you are applying for a digital marketing executive role, for example, your two weeks of work experience at a hair salon in high school does not need to be included!

4.   Honesty is the best policy.

Okay, so the percentage of CVs that I see where the applicant has outright lied is pretty low, however I have seen a fair amount of heavily exaggerated CVs. Obviously you are going to big yourself up on your CV, which is kind of the point, but avoid making out that you are more skilled at / have more experience in something than you actually do. This can end up wasting everyone's time and chances are you will get found out in the end. If you are skilled enough to do the job, there should be no need to heavily exaggerate anything, if you feel the need to do this then perhaps you should look into applying for something at a more junior level.

5.   Things that you don't need to include.

Getting your CV down to two pages or less can be a challenging task, so to help you save some space, here is a list of things that you do not need to include on your CV:

  • Date of birth;
  • Reason for leaving last job;
  • National insurance number;
  • Nationality;
  • Your photo;

Hope you have found this guide useful! If you have any extra CV tips to add, please write them in the comment box below!



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