5 common mistakes on CV's and how to rectify them

By David Lawrence |

The most challenging thing when looking for a job, is making sure your CV or resume stands out from the crowd to clinch that interview. Let’s take a look at the 5 most common mistakes you could be making, and how you can rectify them to boost your recruitment potential.

Sending out a generic CV/Resume

Never send out a generic, one-size-fits-all CV. As it will be automatically scanned before a human even looks at it, so if you don’t have the right keywords in your copy that match the job profile, it will automatically get rejected.

Adapt your CV/Resume and target it to the job profile. Create a compact summary at the top that is tailored to the role you are applying for, and that showcases your experience.

Bad spelling

Never rely on Spellchecker. It won't help with grammar and punctuation. A CV with a typo, bad grammar and poor punctuation is a sign of carelessness and looks sloppy.

Get a fresh pair of eyes on it, and have someone else proofread it for you. They can spot where there might be a problem and help you refine it.


Obviously, you want to make a good impression and showcase all your experience. However, no prospective employer has time to wade through several sheets of paper.

Have your CV pack a punch in as few pages as possible (2 -3 max). Summarise your abilities and experience and if they want a longer version after they can always have one.

Poor formatting

Reading a page of text that’s not aligned, with illegible font, and inconsistent spacing is really unappealing.

Keep it simple. White paper, black ink and Arial 10pt is all you need. Make sure all columns are aligned, and there’s equal spacing between each line. Then save it as a PDF.

Unproven claims

You may be desperate to impress but elaborating on the truth is a big mistake. Making a wild claim about something you’ve achieved is difficult to prove, and could make you look silly. Only use real facts and examples of your achievements to add value.

David Lawrence

Written by David Lawrence

David is the founder of Vine Resources.


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For more than 15 years, we’ve been providing talent solutions for clients from fast growing start-ups to established brands, providing contract resources, permanent hires and project solutions.


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