5 x Common CV Mistakes

Ben Watkins Recruiter

5 x Common CV Mistakes

Having supported hundreds of Senior Executives with their CVs, including many during the pandemic, I have noted 5 of the most common mistakes that we encounter, the good news is that these 5 mistakes can be rectified quite easily.  If you are looking to create a professionally written CV, then hopefully these tips will help.


1) Having a Poor Executive Summary

Most CVs I read do not summarise what the individual does and wants to do next.  This often appears under the “Executive Summary” section at the top of page 1.   To improve your CV, create a 20-30 “sales pitch” of why you and what you can offer.  So many Executive Summaries are poor, including generalist statements, such as: “A self-starting, motivated Executive”.

Please see the image below for a suggested Executive Summary or Sales Pitch:

* Verdict – This 20-30 pitch is key to helping you jump out and get the message across to the hiring manager. Use similar wording to what you would actually say during an interview.


2) Your CV and linkedin profile do not match

The content of many CVs do not match up with the individuals personal linkedin profiles, so this may cause suspicion from employers and recruiters.  For examples, different dates of employment for specific jobs or even inaccuracies with employer names.

* Verdict – Ensure the content of your  CV and linkedin profiles are as consistent as possible



3) Old Fashioned CV Style

The Technology industry is very modern, fast-moving and dynamic, thus your CV should portray you in the same way.  

Many CVs we observe look tired, use old fashioned fonts, contain photographs taken over 10 years ago and just look out of touch for the year 2021!


* Verdict – Modernise and refresh the appearance of your CV!


4) Too wordy

Cramming as much content into 2-3 pages of a CV is fairly common because many think more pages is not viewed as a positive.  Unfortunately, the result of this  is often a difficult to read, busy and ugly looking document that may end up in the bin.


As your CV often has less than 30 seconds to make an impact  , make it attractive.  A professionally written CV should jump off the page.


* Verdict – Ensure your CV is easy to read, gets the message across quickly and does not look cluttered so you get noticed!


5) Too much employment history

We have noticed many Executives include much content from their employment history from over 15 to 2o years ago.  Pages of content describing what you did between 1995 and 2005 is not really going to make you jump out.


* Verdict – Include, but summarise your early career highlights, whilst focus most content on the last 10 to 14 years or of experience



>> Looking to improve your CV and interested in a professionally written CV?  Please click below.


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