Nine (9) Common CV Mistakes That Can Compromise Your Job Hunt
By Abraham Mmbaga
April 12, 2024

Creating an impactful CV can be daunting, but it’s essential for standing out in a competitive job market. While you may think you’ve mastered the basics, the real-world expectations of a standout CV can differ significantly from what you’ve learned. I’ve experienced this firsthand, relying on my academic background to craft a solid CV, only to find it lacking in the eyes of employers.

As I explored the nuances of CV writing, I discovered different formats, resume parsing software, applicant tracking systems (ATS), and common pitfalls that often hold people back.

A CV is your chance to showcase your academic and professional journey, tailored to the roles you’re seeking. Recruiters use your CV to verify your qualifications, so make it count. Here are some CV missteps that could set you back.

Overly Long CVs: Keep it concise. Recruiters may spend just 30 seconds skimming each CV. Fresh graduates should stick to one page.

Unnecessary Sections: Ditch hobbies and references unless specifically requested. These can clutter your CV and distract from your core achievements.

Unwarranted Summary Section: If you have less than 10 years of experience, skip the summary at the top. Let your accomplishments speak for themselves.

Responsibilities Over Achievements: Highlight your impact and contributions, not just job duties. Paint a clear picture of how you added value.

Grammatical Errors: A polished CV is essential. Use tools like Grammarly and get feedback from peers.

Dishonesty: Avoid padding your CV with false information. It can quickly backfire and damage your credibility.

Clich├ęs: Phrases like “team player” and “strong communicator” are overused. Replace them with specific examples that showcase your skills.

Inconsistent Formatting: A professional look is key. Stick to clear, consistent formats like Times New Roman or Arial, and maintain uniformity in bolding and capitalization.

Ignoring Job Descriptions: Tailor your CV for each application. Align your achievements and skills with the job requirements to make your application stand out.

  1. A stellar CV opens doors by capturing attention and demonstrating your fit for the role. Need help crafting a winning CV?

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