Top CV mistakes

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Sarah Peddie

The top 5 CV mistakes candidates make

Creating the perfect CV that makes you stand out from the crowd takes time and, after putting in all that hard work for it to be rejected is disheartening. Many job seekers are making the same mistakes on their CVs that are easily avoidable.

Here at Odyssey Recruitment, we take a look at some of the recurring mistakes candidates make on their CV and how to avoid them when writing your own.

1. Not tailoring your application

When applying for a role, you must make sure that everything you include in your CV is tailored towards the job that you are applying for. Employers will be able to see that you have taken the time to assess the job requirements.

Your CV is like your personal highlight reel, it contains all the relevant information for every job that you apply for. Always tailor every application you send - especially if you are applying for a variety of different jobs. 

If you tailor your CV then it shows the employers that you are interested enough in the role to take the time and consideration into your application. It also shows that you are motivated which is a key aspect recruiters look for. 

2. Poor formatting 

In terms of formatting, you want your CV to convey a professional image, and you can do this straight from the moment an employer opens it.

Don’t ever consider using a funky font - you’d be amazed at how many medics believe that helps you stand out. Stick with something corporate such as Arial, Times New Roman or Calibri.

Further to this don’t attempt to jazz up your CV with dramatic lines, graphics, images or colours. It needs to look professional, not like a poster. Let the information itself do the talking.

When mentioning information it’s very important to present this in a consistent way. Use the same formatting throughout the document - making sure everything has a clear heading, and that any bold or underlined text is replicated throughout.

3. Spelling mistakes 

Even if English isn’t your first language, there are no excuses for spelling mistakes on a CV. An error-free CV is vital in showing your precision and attention to detail so make sure you check everything over.

If you take your time over your CV then this should minimise the risk of any errors - don’t leave writing it until the very last minute as rushed CVs are quickly rejected. Make sure you check your tenses as well. 


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A good way to check for any grammar or spelling mistakes is to change the font size and colour. This tricks your brain into thinking that you are reading a new piece of writing and you will be able to spot mistakes easier. 

You should also print out your CV and read it out loud - if you fall over any words then other people will too. It will help you spot any clumsy mistakes. You can also read your CV from the bottom to the top which makes the flow of the document less familiar and easier to find errors. 

4. Not explaining 'why'

Make sure you prove your credentials by justifying why you have chosen to take on certain activities you have down on your CV and state why they are important for your personal or professional development. Explain further about what skills you gained from the said activity. 

Discussing extra-curricular activities is very important as this shows that you have paid attention to positions of responsibility you have held and outline what experience you have gained. 

An average CV will explain what you have done but great CVs will say why they have done that particular degree or activity.

5. Ignoring gaps in work history

Having gaps in your work history is pretty common and it’s rarely ever a problem if they are explained.

If you have been out of work for a length of time then you need to explain why this is the case. Any unexplained absences will be looked upon with suspicion by recruiters.

Don’t be scared to let your potential future employers that you took some time out to volunteer, look after an ill relative or if you travelled the world. You can also tell them if you took time away from work due to an illness or redundancy. 

If you are looking for a new job in the medical sector then make sure you register with Odyssey Recruitment today and start your journey with us.