Writing a CV can often feel like crossing a minefield, with every employer wanting something different. However, information from the National Careers Service shows that there are a number of common errors made by job applicants that can easily be rectified. We thought we’d provide you with a guide as to how to avoid these common pitfalls.

1)      Tailor your CV

One of the most important things to do is to spend plenty of time on a CV and ensure it's suited to the role you’re applying for – no copy and pasting! Tailoring a CV so that it targets the company advertising the position will show your genuine interest in the company/role and not just ‘getting any old job’. Submitting a general CV is a very common mistake made by job applicants and can seriously diminish chances of gaining a job. Indeed, according to two-thirds of the careers advisers questioned as part of a National Careers Service survey, failing to adjust a CV for a specific role was preventing people from securing that job.

2)      Spell correctly

Another simple, yet important, factor to bear in mind when writing a CV is spelling. It was found that over 60 per cent of advisers feel spelling mistakes present a bigger problem – that the candidate is careless. The way to resolve this is to not only thoroughly check your CV but also ask someone else to proofread it.

Director of the National Careers Service Joe Billington said: "People know they are making mistakes, but they are not spending enough time on making sure their CV is fit for purpose. A CV is an applicant's shop window. With the right advice and support anyone can turn their CV from a careers void into a careers victory."

3)      Stay true to yourself

Finally, while it is important that a CV should stand out from the crowd, people shouldn't be too extreme in attempting to make sure theirs is different from the rest. Some of the most notable CV disasters uncovered by the National Careers Service included a CV that was no fewer than 17 pages in length and one that was typed in capital letters only, while another applicant misspelt the name of their current employer throughout their CV. While there is no doubt that these stood out to an employer, they did so for the wrong reasons.


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