7 Common CV Mistakes That Can Cost You Job Interviews

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Written by Seun Oyediran

CV Creation

Are you wondering why your CV hasn’t landed you that job interview you’ve been waiting for? Perhaps, the reason may not be far fetched. There are several common CV mistakes that candidates with amazing backgrounds make regularly. These costly mistakes could hamper your job interview chances.

Getting called for job interviews is a stage only a handful of applicants get to reach. People don’t get called for interviews because the hiring manager does not find their CVs to be impressive. Or, maybe their CV didn’t even get past the ATS software in the first place 

So, I’ll like to show you the seven most common CV mistakes that job seekers make that cost them their job interviews. You may find out what mistakes you’ve been making, how to correct them, and finally land that interview for the job you’ve always wanted. Come with me as we go on this significant journey together!

Seven Common Deadly CV Mistakes

While some CV mistakes may be overlooked, some mistakes can spell doom. If you choose to keep making any of the 7 common deadly mistakes below, then you may as well kiss your dream job goodbye! Let’s begin!

  1. Not Researching Your Ideal Job Positions and Target Companies

The first and most common mistake job seekers make is in much of a hurry to submit their resumes. They are eager to apply, that they fail to research their ideal job positions and target companies. More often than not, job seekers jump on any job advert that presents itself. In a bid to cast their seeds on many fertile grounds, they end up missing out on almost every opportunity – if not all. 

Have you ever taken the time to sit and analyze what makes you the best candidate for the job you wish to apply for? Do you base your decisions on hearsay or instead on results from your in-depth research of the target company? Not researching the target company is enough sin, but when you do not research your ideal job position is about…it’s an unpardonable sin!  

Here are some of the most common mistakes you can make when you fail to research the job position and target company. 

  1. Misspelling the name of the company. The first impression this gives is that you don’t even give a hoot about essential things. The importance of spelling the company’s name right cannot be overemphasized. Rephrasing one of Dale Carnegie’s sayings, a company’s name is the hiring manager, the sweetest, most important sound in any language.
  2. Not using the job title as reflected in the job description. Why do you have a funny idea that you can change the job title and get away with it? Are you trying to create your job title or apply for the vacant job position? Put the wrong job title and forget about ever being called for the interview. Period.
  3. Failing to recognize the list of skills the company is looking to fill. Your CV should reflect that you have the necessary skill set that the company needs. Including at least three stated skills they can dramatically improve your chances of being called for an interview. And remember, you can only know what skills are important when you research the company and position you are applying to.
  4. Not showing that you have the required years of experience or its equivalent. Why should you have the required years of experience and fail to mention it? This could happen when you don’t properly check out the job description. Whatever the reasons you have for failing to include your years of experience when required could be costly.
  5. Not reflecting the required knowledge about the job you are applying to. Some companies are ultra-specific about what they want you to reflect in your CV. By doing the necessary research, you would know these requirements and state that you meet them. An example is a company specifying the type or number of accomplishments they want you to include in your CV.

  1. Poor Structure and Format

The saying “dress the way you want to be addressed” may be apt when discussing your CV format and structure. You will agree with me that a good-looking and well-structured CV will grab the attention of the recruiter. If you agree, why don’t you focus on your CV structure and format? If the company is specific about what CV structure and design you should use, then, by all means, stick to that. 

It is an unwritten law that first impressions matter. Since recruiters usually have a load of CVs to review in a short time, they could come to conclusions at the speed of light. By following the set structure and format, you have greater chances of grabbing their attention and making them want to meet you in person.

Care for some tips? Here’s some! 

  • Use the fonts stated or used in the job description or use generally accepted formal fonts
  • Proper labeling and concise sections are advantageous
  • Include adequate spacing between each section makes for aesthetic flow and neat outlook
  • Avoid long paragraphs. Brief paragraphs are always the best – HR’s are not ready to read essays
  • Use bullet points to highlight lists. Clumping multiple pieces of information is usually distasteful.

  1. Spelling and Grammar Mistakes

It is expected that you carry out thorough proofreading and editing when developing your CV. Why should you send out a CV that’s ridden with grammatical errors and spelling mistakes? Sending CVs with mistakes is an indication that one lacks attention to details. And there’s hardly a job where your attention is not required.

You should make use of spell check apps and websites, but don’t use them blindly. Why? Because sometimes, grammatical errors are often missed by some of the free spell checker apps. Therefore, you should read and reread your CV and give it to a friend to help you read through it. If you don’t want to go through the hassle of reviewing your CV multiple times, the reventify CV builder has the spelling and grammar checker in-built. Go on a mission to seek out those small damning mistakes as they could cost you your job interview!

  1. Listing Out Responsibilities Instead of Accomplishment and Results

It is easy to misconstrue our accomplishments to mean what we can rather than what we have done. A landmine that many candidates trigger with their total weight is listing responsibilities instead of achievement and impact. When asked for your accomplishment, you should tell HR what you have done. 

Always remember that when you’re asked to state your accomplishment, it must be quantifiable. You can measure your achievement in terms of money gained or saved, the improved result on processes, percentage gain in production time, and so on. Here’s a complete guide to writing a killer work accomplishment section on your CV.

  1. Avoid the Use of Buzzwords and Clichés

While some buzzwords are powerful and can elicit the proper reaction, many are just weak clichés. Apart from weak annoying buzzwords, there are some overused phrases and words that appear in CVs. Avoid weak buzzwords like the plague as they may depict a lack of thought on your part. Recruiters have seen these words repeatedly that another mention of that word on a CV could make them lose their cool.

Some buzzwords and clichés you should avoid are “I am a team player” or “I am a good communicator.” Why? Because these are basic skills that everyone applying for that position likely has. Highlight your hard skills and show proof that you’re an expert in your field. This is enough to make the right impression on your prospective employer.

  1. Length of CV

Your CV should be as short as possible; advisably less or equal to two A4 pages long. That includes all your qualifications, skills, personal information, job experience, and any other information in the CV. In fact, with less than seven years of job experience, it is better if your CV is one page long. This is because the recruiter is likely to skim-read, and the longer the CV, the shorter the time spent reviewing cogent points.

  1. Complicated Designs

There are easy-to-understand designs that are simple and relatable while being sophisticated enough to impress the recruiter. If you use too many tools to make your CV, they can make your CV look tacky and unimpressive.

Imagine using skills graphs, icons, ratings, and several other tools to illustrate simple information; you won’t get called for the interview. You’re sending a CV, not a graphics design flyer. Additionally, do not include pictures and images in your CV except your job requires it. You may include them if you are in the hospitality, fashion, travel, or entertainment industries.

Final Views

To conclude, no one is above mistakes. They happen, and what we do to control their occurrence and frequency is what matters. By being thorough when going through your CV, you should be able to avoid common mistakes. Send out your subsequent CV and get your job interview clothes ready. Winks.

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