7 Common CV Mistakes that kill your Job Application

Are you wondering why you haven’t been contacted for a job interview?

Many job seekers don’t even realize their CV is the problem, and continue to send the same document.

A CV, which stands for curriculum vitae, is a document used when applying for jobs. It allows you to outline your education, skills, and experience enabling you to successfully sell your abilities to potential employers.

Employers receive hundreds of applications for every single job vacancy. The truth is many applications are headed straight to the bin because of cv mistakes that can be easily avoided.

In this article, we’ve compiled the 7 common CV mistakes to avoid (and how to prevent them from happening).

  1. Having Spelling Error and Bad Grammar (Use Spell Checker)
  2. Lying on Your CV
  3. Wrong or missing contact information
  4. Not Tailoring Your CV to the specific Role
  5. Poor Formatting
  6. Not Writing for ATS
  7. Focusing on Duties, not Achievement
CV mistakes

If your CV has spelling errors, typos, and bad grammar all over it, you might be seen as unqualified or uninterested in the position.

It’s advisable to put your application through a spell and grammar checker, Use apostrophes when showing ownership of something, and use proper tense when describing your experience.

Make sure to triple-check your CV, and have it checked by friends and family before you even start sending it out!

Here are some grammar rules and tips to follow when writing your CV:

  • Use platforms like Grammarly to check spelling and grammar.
  • Recruiters spend between 6 and 30 seconds looking at your CV, One way to make them stay around longer? Write shorter sentences.
  • You should talk about old jobs in the past tense (eg: ‘Managed a small team of 10’) and your current job in the present tense (e.g.: ‘Managing a small team of 10’).

Remember, your qualifications, skills, and career history might be the perfect fit for the role, but how you communicate give an accurate picture of the employee you could be to the recruiter.

2. Lying on Your CV

Writing that you’re an expert in Microsoft Excel might make your CV look a bit better; however, it will show in an interview if you can’t back your skill levels up when questioned.”

Lying about a degree or qualification is never a good idea. While many people make slight exaggerations about their hobbies, interests, and skills, this is also far from recommended.

Be real about what you know and what you’re still keen to learn. Don’t forget you can tailor your skills, experience, & education perfectly without lying”

Critical Lie on CV

  • Claiming to be a graduate when you have a diploma is one of the worst things you can lie about on your CV. Some employers will check on your educational background by calling the school directly to verify.
  • Some CV liars are deceitful about their employment dates, trying to add job experience by listing fake job history.  Savvy interviewers will spot people who aren’t quite as knowledgeable as they present themselves on their CV; also a quick call to your past employer is all it takes for someone to find out.

How to improve your CV without lying

  • Read through the job description to find out the skills required for the position.
  • Use this information to figure out the most relevant skills or qualifications you possess, and emphasize these as much as possible in your CV.
  • Position relevant expertise at the top of your application, to catch the attention of the employer and boost your chances of being invited to an interview.
  • Also, visit the company website to know about their culture and relate your hobbies and interest to the mix to show you are an ideal fit for the business.

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3. Wrong or missing contact information

Making mistakes about your contact details is a common mistake that should be avoided at all costs.

Your application can look great on paper, but employers can’t reach you for an interview invitation or discuss further the position due to wrong or missing contact information

A well-organized contact information section should be complete and easy to find so a potential employer can reach you easily and efficiently.

What should be included in your contact information

  • Name
  • Professional Email Address e.g.  segun_onimisi@gmail.com
  • Residential Address
  • Phone Number (advisable to add two phone numbers)


  • Professional Title e.g. “Digital Marketing”
  • Link(s) to professional portfolios or Profiles e.g. LinkedIn
  • Social Media e.g. Twitter, Instagram, etc.

What shouldn’t be in your contact information except when it’s demanded

  • Sex
  • State of Origin
  • Date of Birth
  • Local Government
  • unprofessional email address e.g. codedchinere@gmail.com

4. Not Tailoring Your CV to the specific Role

When it comes to applying for jobs, sending out the same generic resume to every single employer will get you less noticed.

Different roles require different skills and experience, you must tailor your resume so that it highlights the most relevant information when applying for the job.

Employers want to know what you can do for them and how your experience will benefit you in that specific role. So by including your most relevant qualities, you boost your chance of getting noticed and invited for an interview.

This doesn’t mean that you need to write your resume from scratch each time you apply for a job. You can keep your basic resume as an outline and then make the required alterations so that it is tailored for particular job requirements.`

What parts of my CV do I need to tailor?

  • Personal statement
  • Work history
  • Skills
  • Work-related qualifications and training

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Here are a few simple ways you can do this.

  • Read the job description carefully: Make sure you fully understand what the employer is looking for and what the role requires. Once you know what the hiring manager is looking for in a candidate, you can then tailor your resume to highlight the qualities that they are asking for in your own experience.
  • Make your experience fit: Make a list of your relevant experience and accomplishments
  • Update your summary with relevant skills and accomplishments: The summary section will be at the top of your resume, so it is one of the first things a hiring manager sees.
  • Prioritize your skills: Once you’ve figured out what the employer is looking for, you should be able to prioritize your skills according to their needs.

5. Poor Formatting

A CV that doesn’t catch attention and is easy to read makes the recruiter skip over and move on to the next candidate.

On average employers spend around eight seconds reviewing each CV. It’s therefore important to keep your CV concise so that it can be absorbed quickly.

Guideline on Good Formatting As general advice, we’d recommend you:

  • Too small or too large a font: Stick with 11 to 12-point fonts and use standard (Arial, Times New Roman) for best importing capabilities.
  • Margins too small: If you cannot fit your resume onto one page, don’t shrink your margins to make more space. Instead, edit your content to make it more targeted. Keep your margins at 1 inch.
  • Irregular date formats: The most popular date format to add to your resume is Month – Year i.e. Feb 2018 – Mar 2020. This is concise and easy to understand

6. Not Writing for ATS

Did you know that you can get your CV or resume discarded before the recruiter even lays eyes on it? Yes! That’s the work of an ATS

ATS is a type of software used by companies around the world that screens your CV looking for specific keywords and experiences. If your CV doesn’t get past the ATS, your application will likely be rejected before it ever reaches the hiring manager.

This helps employers filter through thousands of potential candidates faster, even though sometimes, qualified candidates can also fall through the cracks. So, it’s important to optimize your CV for applicant tracking systems by mentioning the key requirements for your role

How to get your application pass ATS

  • The ATS software likes seeing your work experience dated from the most recent to the oldest, which makes it easier to read.
  • Avoid using graphics, tables, or special fonts to make your CV stand out. Commonly used fonts are Times New Roman, Calibri, Arial, or Georgia.
  • Send your CV in both PDF format and doc file. However, if the company requests a PDF format or doc file, by all means, send it as such.
  • Tailor your CV to the required skill in the job description.  ATS will dismiss your application if some specific keywords are not found.

7. Focusing on Duties, not Achievement

Your achievement is unique to your experience and tells the employer that you can deliver. It shows the recruiter that you’re a skilled candidate, as well as the right fit for the job.

When listing your work experiences, instead of talking about your work responsibilities focus on achievements instead.

Most people fail to recognize the difference between job duties and achievements. By going through your job duties, you will be able to pick up at least one or two statements that led to some kind of contribution to the company.

Examples of Achievement Statements

  • Increased the company’s customer base by 35% by implementing well-placed marketing strategies and initiatives.
  • Responded to over 85 customer calls daily and solved 90% of their concerns.
  • Created a Facebook AD campaign that increased enrollment by 700 students in a years
  • Assisted credit manager in account collection by phone and mail, increasing accounts receivables by 20%.
  • Improved product movement between warehouse and retail outlet, thereby decreasing the weekly movement time from 10 hours to 6 hours.
  • Maximized team knowledge and productivity through the implementation of well-placed training procedures.

Writing an optimized CV is no easy task but important if you desire to get ahead.  By avoiding these 7 Common CV Mistakes from your resume, you’ll be that much closer to landing an interview and securing your next job.

We hope you enjoyed the read, and wish you good luck in your job hunt. Do not forget to visit Our Website for Legit Jobs only!

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