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Common CV Writing Mistakes

Updated: Feb 6

The most common mistakes I see on CVs I proof.


Dates that make no sense.

Accounts Manager June 2012 to May 2006

Some people even have jobs in the future and have worked backwards in time!

Teacher of English September 2037 to present.

Dates are so easy to overlook and transposing numbers or having unaccounted for gaps can be disastrous when applying for jobs with hundreds of applicants.

I have heard tales of industries where the application number is incredible and the first sort through of applications being a binning of the cover letters that didn’t include the date.

If there are lots of applications, don’t let a simple thing like not having the correct dates be what puts you in the bin.

Inconsistent Fonts

You will, no doubt have a mixture of font sizes and bold and maybe even Italic font variation on your CV, these can be helpful tools to help break up your text and highlight changes in roles etc however your font itself - keep it the same.

It is so easy to do especially when copying and pasting from several documents into a new one. If you have done that then make sure you select all and change the font to one that matches.

Not sure if your font is consistent? Select all and if the font box is blank it means you are using more than one font.

Trying To Stand Out

Coloured fonts, coloured paper, scented paper, glitter - don’t, just don’t. Unless you are a million percent sure that the company you are applying to will absolutely love it, it isn't worth the risk. The chances are you won’t be taken seriously and practically speaking it can be hard to read.

I was once shortlisting for a position, a candidate had used a pink font - it was practically illegible. The pink font isn’t the reason that they didn’t get the job but it certainly didn’t help!

Spelling, Punctuation and Grammar Errors

It happens to all of us, we all make mistakes.

Check through thoroughly, then go to bed and check again the next day with fresh eyes.

Spell check will only get you so far, for full peace of mind use a proofer. If I can help with any CV writing or proofing needs please get in touch with me here.

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