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Seven CV mistakes which could cost you that interview

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lego mistake

#1           The three and a bit page CV

Employers will spend around 10-20 seconds scanning your CV so keep it to a manageable length – two pages is the accepted maximum (different rules apply for academic posts).   Don’t leave a massive gap on the last page as it looks as if you’ve run out of things to say.  Think about restructuring your content or adding to it so that the look is consistent over both pages.

 #2         The inappropriate email address does not exactly scream hard-working professional.  (Or not in the way you want it to at any rate.)  If your email address is not along the lines of, create a new one for job-hunting.   Including your date or year of birth could lead unscrupulous employers to discriminate based on your age so keep it to a variant of your name or initials.

#3         The cliché-stuffed profile

‘I’m a motivated individual who works well independently and as part of a team’.  Is this on your CV?  It’s on everyone else’s too.  Think about your unique selling points, your experience and your goals.  Show your CV to friends and family – does this sound like you or could it be any other student or graduate?

#4         The one-size fits all CV

Sending out 50 identical CVs for 50 different jobs may seem like a timesaver but it’s unlikely to pay off in the long-term.  Tailor your CV for every job and tick off the skills listed on the personal spec every time you provide evidence for them.   If you’re sending out speculative CVs, research the sector you want to get into so you can demonstrate how well you’ll fit in

#5         The duty-heavy CV

When talking about your work experience, don’t just write out your job description.   Use the CAR model (context, action, result) when talking about your work experience to describe your job briefly, what you did and how you personally made a difference to the organisation/the people you worked with.

  #6         The War and Peace CV

Solid blocks of text can be difficult to skim read.  Use bullet points, headings and lines to break up the content and make it easier for the employer to scan for relevant skills and information.

 #7         The typo-ridden CV

It’s a competitive market out there – don’t give employers an excuse to discard your CV because of sloppy spelling and grammar.  Especially if you’ve listed ‘attention to detail’ as one of your main skills


Want some feedback on your CV? 

If you’re a Hull student or graduate, you can contact the Careers and Employability Service on or call 01482 465096 to arrange for an appointment.

If you are based at the Scarborough campus, contact us on  or call us on 01723 357247 to book an appointment.

By Naomi Alty, Careers Adviser




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