The average boss will look at your CV for around three minutes, with around one in five employers deciding whether you’re cut out for the job in just under one. 

This makes your CV the single most important aspect of your job hunt – whether you’re after a work experience placement that could get your foot in the door, or an internship at your dream company.

We spoke to some of the top recruiters in the country to find out the four most common CV mishaps to watch out for when applying for your next role.


1. Spelling and other errors

The biggest CV mishaps by far are misspelt words, irregular grammar and clunky sentences. Recruiters see thousands of CVs with this common issue.

Mistakes suggest to employers that you haven’t spent the time and effort on your application and that you lack diligence. The solution? Always get someone else to proofread your CV before you send it off.


2. Underselling yourself

It’s surprising how many graduates miss out key experiences from their CV. If you’re going for a finance job, don’t miss out that part-time job in a shop – point out responsibilities such as dealing with cash and financial procedures.


3. Sending a generic CV

Sending a template CV to an employer could send you straight to the reject pile. Every employer is different – try to tweak your CV to meet their exact requirements. Most importantly, keep it simple and easy to read – bullet points are useful, and avoid using jargon or acronyms.


4. Sending too many pages

A CV is the key to getting an interview, not your life history. It should be a very short document – three to four pages is enough. Depending on the industry, anything over one page can be too much. It should be an advertisement of yourself and your skills, which you can expand on in the interview.