10 CV Dos and Don’ts to Land a New Job

If you want to get a call from a recruiter, there are many mistakes to avoid when writing a CV. Here are five CV tips to keep in mind for your next job search.


cv dos and donts
cv dos and donts
cv dos and donts

CV do’s and don’ts

CV writing is often difficult for every job seeker. Here are CV do’s and CV don’ts that you should practice when writing your next CV.


Start with the right structure

Organising your CV sections correctly is a major factor in whether or not a recruiter even gives your application a chance. Most professional CV will split all their relevant information into these sections:

  • Header with all your contact information, including your full name, address, phone number, email address, and LinkedIn profile link (if available) at the top of your CV
  • A personal statement or objective that briefly touches on any transferable skills and relevant experience, why you are interested in the position, or your career goals
  • Skills / qualifications section with a good mix of hard and soft skills
  • Work experience section in reverse-chronological order, with major responsibilities and achievements highlighted for each job
  • Education section, including certifications or notable academic accolades

By dividing your CV into these easily digestible sections, hiring managers can get a better sense of what related work experience you have and how you can apply those skills to the current job opening.

5 CV do’s

Here are five pointers you should keep in mind when writing your CV:
Use CV examples
When it comes to writing a CV, you will want to use some CV examples for the specific job you’re applying for to help you get started. Using CV templates can also give you an idea of the best format to use as well as what sort of information is best to include.
Pull keywords from the job description
If you are unsure which skills or work experiences to put on your CV, study the job description for specific keywords (e.g., required skills and qualifications). Addressing these keywords in your own CV can help push your CV through an applicant tracking system (ATS), which is designed to scan applications and CV for keywords taken from the job description.
The more of these keywords you use throughout your CV, the better your chances are of your application being seen by a hiring manager.
Use objective statements
Action words and action verbs can be a great way to enhance your CV and work experience. Statements such as “Coordinated event planning and scheduling for over 300 events” will look far more impressive than “Effectively planned various company events.” Ensure each bullet point you list under each job you’ve had is important and describes your daily duties within that position.
Connect previous positions to the job description
Connecting your previous work experience to what the job posting requires can be a great way to display a clear career path you have set for yourself. It can also demonstrate that you are qualified for the job listing at hand.
Create a one-page CV
It is best to keep your CV to only one page at the most. Concise CV are easier for recruiters to scan. The better you can condense and optimise your work history, the better your CV will be. The exceptions are CV for jobs that require extensive experience – in this case; it’s all right to expand your CV to two pages.

5 CV don’ts

Here are some common errors you should avoid when writing your CV:
Adding too many personal details
You want your CV to be a personal reflection of who you are as an employee. It should not delve too far into personal details. No hiring manager will care about your marital status, what clubs you attended in high school, or other irrelevant details. Don’t forget that the CV is a professional document.
Instead of writing generic or unimportant information, include a brief CV summary that tells the recruiter all about your most relevant skills and work experience. This can tell the recruiter all about who you are as an employee at a glance.
Using cliches
It can be tempting to use cliches to save time on CV writing. However, recruiters have likely read through dozens of applications before yours. Being specific about your skills will be far more useful in the long run than relying on tired, old phrases such as “best in class” or “team player.”
Embellishing your work experiences
You never want to fib about your experiences in your CV. Even if you think it will initially impress a hiring manager enough to call you for that job interview, your inexperience will become apparent during the interview, if not soon after you are hired.
Adding your GPA when applying for a senior position
If you have little to no work experience and you have graduated recently with a 3.5 GPA or higher, then it’s fine to add your grades to the education section of your CV. A high GPA can show off a dedicated work ethic.
However, if you are applying for a senior position within a company, then it’s best to leave it out. Recruiters will be far more interested in your more recent work experience and leadership skills rather than old academic achievements.
Forgetting to proofread
You don’t want to work hard on a CV only to have it rejected because of a simple typo. Always proofread your CV for spelling and grammatical errors before you send it off.

FAQs: CV do’s and don’ts

Q: What cliche words should I avoid on a CV?

Common CV buzzwords and phrases to avoid include:

  • Team player
  • Hard worker
  • Motivated
  • Synergy
  • References available upon request
  • Utilised
  • Any passive verbs or language

Q: What are some common CV mistakes?

Outside of the CV don’ts listed above, here are the most common CV writing mistakes candidates make:

  • Listing a non-professional email address
  • Using a generic template for every job application
  • Focusing on or emphasising general work duties rather than specific achievements
  • Making your CV too long

Q: Where can I find free CV templates?

Instead of building a CV from scratch, use a CV builder. These tools have tons of CV professional templates, examples, and other tips that you can use to write a stellar CV in minutes.



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