5 Shocking CV Mistakes

Published on: 25 Nov 2013

Shocked faceGuest post from specialist creative and digital marketing recruitment specialists, Forward Role.

You’d think that people applying for jobs would take care to avoid any silly mistakes that might stop them being called to an interview. Unfortunately, you’d be wrong.

Whilst most people proofread their CVs at least a dozen times, there are some people that send them away without even a second glance.  Here are a few of the shocking mistakes seen by the average recruitment agency, on a surprisingly regular basis:

The ‘I Used a Template’

Thanks to the World Wide Web, it’s easier than ever to write your CV.  You can find CV templates that you can use to get your dream job as a web designer, police officer or [insert job title here].  All you need to do is copy them, modify a few details and send them as your own.  See what we did there?

Even if a recruitment agency manages to see past the fact that you’ve used a template, rather than making an effort, they’ll find it exceptionally hard to ignore that ‘insert here’ text that you’ve left on show. Oops.

The ‘Have You Got a Dictionary?’

Congratulations on successfully writing your own CV, rather than working from a template.  Creative recruitment agencies like to see that you can actually show a little creativity of your own.  Unfortunately, not checking your spelling can completely destroy your chances of getting a job.  Now, what exactly is a ‘website desinger’?

The ‘Life Story’

You’re in your 30s.  You’ve worked hard, and your job history is interesting and varied. Stop and think: does an employer need to know every single detail?  Recruitment agencies deal with hundreds of CVs each and every day.  They want CVs that get to the point, provide the important details and aren’t ten pages long.  If you’re applying for a job as a Social Media Executive, do they really need to know that you were a babysitter at the age of 13 and cleaned toilets not long after your 16th birthday?  Use your CV to show relevant work experience, not your entire working history.

The ‘Respond with Telepathy’

That’s a really impressive CV that you’ve produced.  Well done!  You’ve clearly got the skills and experience, and you’ve definitely impressed that marketing recruitment agency.  In fact, they’d be happy to convince the CEO of Marketing Genius to skip the interview completely – you’re just THAT good!  Now, all they need to do is give you a call and talk you through the next step.  Oh, wait. Please don’t say that you forgot to include your contact details?  You’d be surprised how often it happens!


The ‘Serious Jobseeker’


You’re feeling smug right now, aren’t you?  What kind of idiot forgets to add their contact details to their CV?  Not you!  In fact, as soon as that recruitment agency decides to call you in for an interview they’ll be able to email ‘softkittycuddlyfur12345@hotmail.com’ to clarify the details.

Wait…is that really your email address?  You’re applying for jobs, and you need to prove that you’re serious.  If you haven’t already, spend a few minutes creating an email address that suggests that you’re over the age of 11.

Have you got any tips to add?  Are you ready to admit to an embarrassing CV mistake, or have you worked in recruitment and seen some truly horrifying CVs?  Share your thoughts, and let us know!



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