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 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!

Waffling on…

One of the classic CV mistakes is to make it too long. It’s not a novel on your history. Part of the art in creating a great resume is being selective so that it’s easy to read and understand. It should be a maximum of 3-4 pages and the information you give (education, experience, etc) should be relevant to the job you’re applying for.

The ultimate CV fail would be including your bank details and marital status in your CV. These are both unnecessary and could leave your privacy exposed! Be sharp, precise and clear in how you tell your story.

bored reader

Pour Granmar (hint hint)

Make sure you have your resume and cover letter proofread by a trusted friend or mentor. Spelling and grammar errors can easily be the thing that gets your CV thrown out of the running for your dream job.

Leave out your skills

This is one of the ultimate fails. Lots of companies are now using software that scans resumes for certain ‘keywords’ and phrases. If you don’t have these exact words in your document you could be instantly eliminated. Print out the job application and highlight the keywords for example ‘customer service’ or ‘account manager’. Then, find a way to weave them honestly into your resume. Some estimates suggest that over 75% of candidates submitting resumes using this technology can be taken out of the running before a human ever sees their resume.

So if you want to fail your job search, don’t be specific about mentioning your skills and the skills mentioned in the job description.

Leave off or overlook vital information

Did you forgot to put your contact details? Is the address of the company wrong? It can be easy when writing lots of job applications to overlook of forget to change certain details. There is nothing that will get you more quickly to the bottom of the pile than getting basic facts wrong or leaving off key information.

Put your hobbies first and your skills last

Yes your hobbies and interests can be relevant to the job you’re applying for, but make sure to get the order of information right in your resume structure. Think about it as a quick snapshot into your study and employment history. Remember, most important and relevant things come first. We suggests filling in the following key areas (and this could be a good order):

  • A very brief summary of who you are (1-2 sentences)
  • Relevant skills
  • Your education
  • Your experience or work history
  • Your interests, volunteering experience and hobbies
  • Your references

Use a weird font and design

Crazy and difficult to read fonts may be great for birthday cards, but they’re not the best choice for your resume. If you want to avoid this fail use a simple and uncomplicated font and layout. A good tip is to print your resume and check that it is easy to read. We suggest you keep it simple and some of the standard fonts we use include: Arial, Georgia and Garamond.  

CV resume

List everything out of order

If you want to really confuse the recruiter or company put all of your details out of order. This will make their heads spin and they will politely throw your CV in the bin. Make it easy for them to understand your story by putting your most recent and relevant experiences first.

What about if I don’t want my CV to fail?

Now that you know how to make your resume a total fail we can share some of the ways to make it shine. If you want to write a powerful CV, flip the headings in this article and you will have some great resume tips:

  • Keep it clear and short
  • Check your spelling and grammar
  • Include your skills and the ‘keywords’ in the job description
  • Add key information
  • Use a clear and logical structure with important details coming first
  • Use a clear and standard font and design
  • List things in chronological order


Best of luck with your CV building and we can’t wait to see you land the job of your dreams with your freshly (non-failing) CV.