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Tuesday, 01 March 2011

5 mistakes to avoid when writing your CV

Written by Miles Cooper
In today's job market it has never been more important to have a well written, up to date and informative CV, which shows you and your abilities in the best light possible.

Fewer job vacancies combined with workers feeling unsafe in their current career and high levels of unemployment mean that each available position needs to be fought for that little bit harder.

Your CV is the first impression of you that a potential employer has, and you don't want to make it the last. By avoiding a few common pitfalls you can ensure that your CV isn't dismissed for any of the wrong reasons. Having spoken to several employers that I deal with, here are five common mistakes which should be avoided:

1) Bad Spelling / Grammar - There is no excuse for bad spelling on your CV. If necessary, use your spell-check facility or get a friend or family member to proof read it for you. Incorrect grammar is also a no-no, make sure it reads well and flows between topics.

2) Lying - Do not lie on your CV, whether it be about exam results, previous experience or personal achievements. Nowadays it doesn't take much to check up on your claims and if details are found to be incorrect you will not be considered further.

3) Cluttered layout - As applications for jobs increase, the time to look at them decreases. If your CV looks cluttered or untidy the employer is likely to move swiftly on to the next one. You CV should be well structured and the information should stand out clearly from the page.

4) Being too general - Each position you apply for will most likely be at least slightly different from the last. Make sure you read the job description carefully and 'tweak' your CV to ensure that it is as relevant as possible to the position available.

5) Ancient Referees - Your potential new boss will want to see your latest previous / current employers as referees; if they're not down alarm bells will be ringing. If you're not including them, there should be a very good reason!

Remember, you never know when you're dream job may become available, and you don't want to throw away the opportunity by making any of the mistakes above. It may all sound like common sense but there's never any harm in double checking!

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