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The 12 Worst Things You Can Do On Your CV (According to Actual Employers)

18th Sep 2017

The 12 Worst Things You Can Do On Your CV (According to Actual Employers)

Source: @dylanbuckley

Your CV is a gateway to a better job, here are some tips we’ve compiled to writing a better one and getting you that crucial foot in the door.

1. Pictures

Some employers love them. Other employers hate them. Really, really hate them. The safe bet is to not include a picture on your CV. It can not only come across as a bit arrogant, but it can work to your disadvantage when it comes to unconscious bias (towards race, gender, and age).

2. Long & Waffly Cover Letter

You don’t need to recite your entire CV in your covering letter. That’s why you send a covering letter and your CV. Get to the point: who are you, why are you applying, and why should you be considered for the role. Done.

3. Poor Layout

Recruiters only spend, on average, 6.25 seconds looking at your CV before deciding whether or not to consider you for a role. If they can’t navigate the layout of your CV and find exactly what they’re looking for to help them make that snap decision, then you could miss out. Make sure your layout is clean, logical, and looks quite nice too.

Source: LinkedIn

4. Boring Interests

Do you really want your potential employer to think the only thing remotely interesting about you is that you play video games? You might be thinking ‘I’d never write that - that just makes you look lazy’. Well, it’s not just the video games thing. Everyone seems to love to read, travel, and socialise. Think outside the box. What do you love doing that makes you stand out? Then, try to link it back to the role you’re applying for.

5. Bad Spelling (and Grammar)

Spelling and grammar mistakes in a CV just shouts LACK OF ATTENTION TO DETAIL. I can’t think of a single job in the entire universe that doesn’t require some element of attention to detail. We all make the odd mistake and typo every now and then, but all you need to do is ask a friend (or two) to glance over it for you. Preferably one that can spell and spot at least common grammatical mistakes.

Seriously. Double, triple, quadruple check your spelling.

Source: @JellyRockPR

Source: @hworsnop

6. Writing In Third Person

Third person? Really? It’s your CV, not a biography. Employers don’t expect you to be so important that you’ve had someone else write about you. TribePad thinks you should never, ever, write in third person on your CV.

7. Unsubstantiated Claims

If you’re going to state that you have a proven track record of something, you need to give your potential employer some proof. Otherwise, you may as well have just made it up.

8. Inappropriate Fonts

There used to be a time where fonts were entirely subjective, and that as long as it was readable, it didn’t matter what style you chose. These days, however, certain fonts have (for whatever reason) amassed a certain social stigma - here’s looking at you, Comic Sans and Papyrus. You might be tempted to use such fonts in an attempt to be funny or ironic, but irony rarely gets you hired. Stay away from anything too elaborate either. You’re writing a CV, not the first constitution.

9. Unexplained Gaps in Employment

Nearly everyone experiences a gap in their employment at some point - it’s a completely normal part of life. But fail to explain why that gap is there, and you could set alarm bells ringing for your prospective employer. They may assume that you were fired or that you took off unexpectedly, so always explain yourself if you can.

10. Irrelevent Experience

You spent three months working at an elephant sanctuary in Thailand? Great! You had a brief stint working as a music promoter? Good for you! These may have all been integral parts of your life personally, but before you put them on your CV, ask yourself if they are truly relevant to the role you are applying for. Employers have to sift through a lot of lengthy applications, so try and make yours as straight-to-the-point as possible.

11. Too Many Pages

Most employers want a two page CV. Some employers might even want just one page. Either way, if you can’t sell yourself in two pages, you communication skills probably aren’t up to scratch.

12. Awful Email Address

I’m talking to you []: