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Job seeker mistakes

Why you should never write a CV on your own

It doesn’t matter whether you’re writing a CV from scratch or if you’re updating your old one – you should never create a CV on your own. If you want to get ahead of the competition and stand out from the crowd, the creation of your CV needs additional help and shouldn’t rely on just your own input.

Here’s why…

Mistakes can easily be missed 

Using a spell checker and your keen eye just isn’t enough to ensure that your CV is 100% free of mistakes. Spelling and grammatical errors can easily be missed by your computer word processor, and there is also a chance that the way you have phrased something may be fragmented or look unprofessional. Mistakes don’t just come down to spelling either, as you could also make a slight error with your formatting. Even just one spacing error could plant a seed of doubt in the hiring manager’s mind. Perfection is everything when it comes to writing a CV!

The best way to ensure your CV is guaranteed to be free of mistakes is to ask someone else to proofread it for you. This could be through a professional paid service or a friend that you can trust. Someone who has extensive experience in hiring staff and reading CV’s, and as an added bonus someone who is a professional in your industry.

Don’t let your ego get in the way of producing a flawless CV, and going completely solo is a risky move. Any feedback you receive, no matter how small, will help shape your CV and provide you with the best possible chance of getting an interview.

Your presentation may not be quite right 

Spelling and grammar is not the only vital aspect of a CV you need to get right, and there are lots of other things to check before you send out your CV.

Formatting and structure

Typically you want to aim for two pages for your CV. However, there are exceptions and it is possible to have/need a 3 page CV for certain professionals. This all depends on the role and industry you are applying for, and the length can be discussed with someone who is helping you.

Ask a professional to check over your structure and formatting to ensure everything is in the expected order and fits to the page neatly. Borders, font style, and font size are all extremely important and shouldn’t be underestimated. If you are looking to fit your CV nicely onto two pages for example, then don’t try and increase/decrease the font size just to make it fit. Instead, consider if you’ve been a little too abrupt with your information. Or maybe there’s too much, and you need to cut down on anything that doesn’t add value.

Ask your chosen proofreader advise on the following –

  • Does it look professional?
  • Is it easy to read and correctly formatted?
  • Are each sections in the correct order?
  • Have I included all of the sections required?
  • Have I kept everything short and to the point?

Use relevant information 

Using relevant information is a great way of making your CV stand out – but have you done this? Provide the proofreader with the job advert so they can compare it to your CV. Ask them to see if you have used the same keywords and have only highlighted the relevant skills, qualifications and experience.

Top tip – Don’t use just one person to check your CV if you have other contacts. It may be hard to find two or more industry professionals to check your CV, so at least one professional and one to two other people that can check the spelling and grammar would be helpful to your cause. As well as anything else that they are qualified to look over would be ideal.


Two pair of eyes are better than one!

Having at least one other person who you can bounce ideas off will make such a significant difference to your final CV. Having that extra help and professional knowledge is priceless, and something which you should seek every time you re-write your CV.

If you are unfortunate enough not to be able to contact someone who can help you write or proofread your CV, then try to create yourself a list of checks. Go back over our article and make note of all the key points in regards to spelling and grammar; format and presentation.

You should also read:

  1. 3 ways to catch a recruiter’s attention
  2. How to write a CV that makes a great first impression
  3. Why you should tailor your CV to each job 

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