10 Common CV Pitfalls and How to Avoid Them

A standout CV is just one expert tip away. Avoid common errors and shine in the eyes of recruiters with our professional guidance.


Navigating the job market can be daunting, especially when it comes to crafting a resume that stands out. Your CV is a crucial tool in your job search arsenal — a reflection of your professional journey and a beacon for potential employers. But all too often, job seekers fall into common traps that can make their CV less effective. In this blog, we’ll uncover the top 10 CV pitfalls and provide expert tips on how to sidestep them to ensure your resume not only grabs attention but holds it, paving the way to that all-important interview.

1. Overlooking Tailoring:

Many candidates use a one-size-fits-all approach, sending the same CV for multiple job applications. Tailoring your CV to each specific role shows employers that you’re attentive and genuinely interested in the position.

Avoidance Tip:

Customize your CV for each job by mirroring the language used in the job description and highlighting the most relevant experiences.

2. Unexplained Gaps:

Employment gaps can raise questions. Whether it was due to personal reasons, travel, or further education, leaving them unexplained can be a red flag for recruiters.

Avoidance Tip:

Be proactive and explain any gaps in a positive light, focusing on how the time off has prepared you better for the workforce.

3. Irrelevant Information:

Including every job you’ve ever had or every hobby might seem thorough, but it can dilute your CV’s impact.

Avoidance Tip:

Keep it relevant. Focus on experiences and skills that directly relate to the job you’re applying for.

4. Neglecting Keywords:

Many companies use Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS) to screen resumes, and these systems often search for specific keywords.

Avoidance Tip:

Review the job listing and industry-related articles to identify keywords and integrate them naturally into your CV.

5. Poor Formatting:

A CV that’s difficult to read or navigate can be instantly off-putting. Cluttered information, inconsistent fonts, and dense paragraphs are major culprits.

Avoidance Tip:

Use clear headings, bullet points, and consistent formatting to make your CV as readable as possible.

6. Forgetting to Quantify Achievements:

Stating that you’ve increased sales is good, but quantifying how much you increased them is better.

Avoidance Tip:

Wherever possible, use numbers and statistics to quantify your successes and the impact of your work.

7. Overusing Jargon or Clichés:

While industry-specific terms are important, too much jargon can make your CV hard to understand. Similarly, clichés can make it seem unoriginal.

Avoidance Tip:

Balance professional language with clarity and replace clichés with concrete examples of your skills.

8. Lack of Proofreading:

Spelling and grammar mistakes can be the kiss of death for your CV, implying carelessness.

Avoidance Tip:

Always proofread your CV multiple times and consider using services like Grammarholic’s ‘Fix My CV’ for a professional review.

9. Not Showcasing Soft Skills:

Employers value soft skills like communication and teamwork just as much as technical abilities.

Avoidance Tip:

Incorporate examples of how your soft skills have positively affected your work or team dynamics.

10. Missing the Call to Action:

Ending your CV on a passive note is a missed opportunity.

Avoidance Tip:

End with a short profile or personal statement that includes a proactive call to action, inviting recruiters to contact you.


Falling into these common CV pitfalls can hinder your job search, but with careful attention and strategic adjustments, you can steer clear of them. Remember, your CV is your first impression. Make it count. If you're unsure about your CV's quality or effectiveness, consider Grammarholic’s ‘Fix My CV’ service to give you that competitive edge. With a polished CV, you’re one step closer to your dream job.


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