Common CV Mistakes

Common CV Mistakes

If you are looking to understand why you didn’t get an interview for that role you were perfect for, or why they don’t call for you for the positions you apply in Gibraltar, it sounds like your CV is letting you down. Stop missing opportunities having irrelevant work experience, grammatical errors and generic skills on your CV and learn what the top common CV mistakes are here in Gibraltar:

  1. Spelling mistakes and grammatical errors

It is surprising how many CVs we receive at Grasp contain spelling mistakes and grammatical errors. When you submit a CV with mistakes, it looks like you couldn’t be bothered to check it after writing it. If you are not paying attention to detail or putting effort into your application, why would you in your job?

Remember to always check your CV carefully before sending it. This is a great excuse for recruiters not to shortlist you for an interview. Show that you want that job by caring for the presentation of your CV.

It’s very common in Gibraltar that English is not your first language, ask a friend to check it for you or use a spelling check tool to make sure everything is correct.

  1. Generalisations

Employers don’t want to know what you think you can do: they need to know what you have already done. They don’t want to read a long paragraph about your experience. When a recruiter looks at CVs, the first thing they look for is your previous experience:

  • What was your previous role and what were your responsibilities?
  • What did you achieve and why was it beneficial to your employer?
  • Why is this relevant for the new role you are applying for?

Try to be as detailed as possible.

  1. Generic clichés

There are a few generic skills that most candidates include in their CVs. Even though they are positive skills, they are overused: hard working, team player, problem solving, etc.

Explore the skills or abilities you have developed in your career and show how these are relevant for the role you are applying for.

  1. Fancy formatting

There has been an increase of fancy formatting on CVs during the past few years. Candidates add different fonts, colours, shapes and images to their CVs trying to stand out, but sometimes they obtain the opposite result. 

It is true that a CV needs to be well presented, formatted and grammatically checked. But the most important part of a CV is its content. The words need to speak for themselves.

  1. Easy to read

Always remember that when a recruiter receives your CV, they will first give it a quick scan and if they find it interesting,  they will read it more carefully. To make it easier for them to find your CV attractive, try to not use excessively long words or elaborate sentences. It doesn’t make you look more professional. Your CV needs to be easy to read. If there is something you need to list, use bullet points, it’s a great way of adding structure and clarity.

It’s good to check what you have written and see if there is a way to shorten it and make it more readable. CVs must be clear and informative.

  1. Contact information

Your contact information on your CV is one of the most important things. What is a great CV without the contact details of its owner? Make sure that you always include in your CV:

  • Name
  • Telephone
  • Email address
  • City, Country

These details, at the top of your CV, are the most important ones. Of course you can also include your LinkedIn profile or portfolio URL if you need to show more some of your work.

We get some CVs including the full address, passport number, birth date… this is some personal information that will only be required at later stages of the hiring process. 

It’s important to be very careful with the personal information you add to your CV, and where you send or leave it. Some people may take advantage of this information.

  1. Photograph

Whether or not to add a photo on your CV is a controversial topic. Here at Grasp we believe that it is not essential. If you add your photo/picture you open up subconscious stereotyping from the reader.

In some cases a photo/picture is required as part of your application to a specific job. So if it is requested submit it, if not it’s wiser not to include it.

  1. One size doesn’t fit all

Finally, some candidates would have one CV with all their work experience and use it to apply for different kind of jobs. Usually, recruiters who get these general CVs will discard them.

As we mentioned on the second point of this list, recruiters look for tailored CVs where the candidate has taken the time to explain and detail their previous experience in similar roles, and why they are the ideal candidate for a specific role.

It’s good to have the job description to hand when writing a tailored CV. As a result, you will understand what are the specific skills and experience required for role, so you can explain your skills and experience in a way that suits what they are looking for.

The perfect CV is in black and white, with a legible font, content well organised, detailed experience, easy to read and tailored to the position you are applying for.

Remember: every word should be designed to persuade the recruiter that they should interview you for the role.