Resume fails to avoid when writing your CV - Career HQ
If you’re just getting started on your first CV or giving your current one a spring clean, here are some CV fails that we want to help you to avoid at all costs!
CV, resume, writing resume, applying for a job, job search, cover letter, job search, career education
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Resume fails to avoid when writing your CV

If you’re just getting started on your first resume or updating one that you’ve been using for a number of years, here are some resume fails we want you to avoid at all costs.

Leave off or overlook vital information

It sounds simple but forgetting to put your contact details on your resume happens more often than you’d think. Make sure your phone number and email address are correct. Also consider what email address you’re using. If you’re employed and looking for a different job than using your current work email isn’t appropriate. You don’t need to put a home address in any longer but often a reference to roughly where you live is appropriate, i.e. Melbourne or Perth.


Pour Granmar (hint hint)

Make sure your cover letter and resume are looked over by someone else you trust. Often they’ll pick up mistakes you won’t notice yourself. Spelling and grammar errors are basics that could get you eliminated from the hiring process right at the start.

Use a weird font and design

Crazy or difficult to read fonts may be perfect for birthday cards but they’ve got no place on resumes. Use a clear and simple font and design that won’t date. If you are updating an existing resume make sure that they style you used when you originally created it is still something recruiters expect to see today. The style you used twenty years ago is not the same as those expected today and for recruiters it’s very obvious if you’ve simply added your latest role to a resume you started a long time ago.

And always remember, your resume should never be sent in a format it can be edited/altered i.e. Word. Only ever send it in PDF or similar.

Waffling on

One of the most common CV mistakes is to make it too long. This isn’t a full biography of you, it’s a selected highlights of your career history. It should be no longer than 3-4 pages and the information you include should be relevant to the role you’re applying for. A high school award you won 30 years ago probably isn’t relevant to a current position you’re applying for. Be shar, precise and clear in how you tell your story.

Don’t follow a particular order

A suggestion of a rough order is:

  • A very brief summary of who you are
  • Relevant skills
  • Your education
  • Your experience or work history
  • Your interests, volunteering experience and hobbies
  • Your references (optional, never feel obliged to include the names in your resume)

If you list your roles not in chronological order or mix your qualifications through your career history, it’ll confuse recruiters and potentially get your resume discarded. Noting what you like to do with your spare time is important, but not more important than your skills or qualifications, so leave them to the end.

Use the job description

Lots of companies now use software to do an initial scan of applicants resumes, looking for keywords. Make sure that your resume contains various keywords from the job description, used in a truthful manner, so that a potential employer can see where your knowledge and skills fit what they’re looking for.


Jargon junkie

While we encourage you to use terminology used in the job description, do not fill your resume with industry specific jargon. Technical terminology is exactly that, a list of technical terms which doesn’t showcase who you are at all. Obviously using certain examples such as coding languages or specific banking softwares are relevant and important but don’t rely solely on these types of phrases to explain your experience and skills.


Good luck with your resume and the jobs your fail-free resume will lead you to!