7 CV Mistakes That Make You Look Unprofessional

7 CV Mistakes

The stress of putting together a compelling CV often stems from the fact that people are usually uncomfortable “selling themselves”. But, a well written and concise CV can catch attention, highlight your strengths and get you that job. Here are seven common job-seeking blunders to avoid as you piece together a CV to wow your new employer.

You add too much unnecessary detail
Unless it’s relevant to the job in some way, you don’t need to mention your religion, how many children you have, your hobbies or your health status. Your CV should make your employer think you’re exactly what they want – and extra bits and pieces can slow down reading and make them lose interest.

Over-zealous styling
You know that to find a job you need to stand out. The way to do that, however, is not with coloured borders, fancy fonts or non-standard paper colours and sizes. Impress your employer with what’s written on the CV, and skip things like crazy looking bullet points or photographs.

You ramble
A 60 year old Nobel prize winner may need a 3 page long CV. Everyone else can do with one or two pages. Your employer will be scanning very quickly over the page to find the most important details. Make him wade through walls of text and you risk losing his attention.

The CV is riddled with spelling and grammar mistakes
This should be a no-brainer, but you’d be surprised how many little mistakes can slip through. Don’t rely solely on your spell check. Get a friend to proofread, and, if you’re applying for overseas positions, make sure your spelling and idioms are appropriate.

There’s no cover letter
For some, the only thing worse than writing a CV is writing a cover letter. But do it anyway. Your employer is busy and will appreciate that you’re giving them a brief summary of your application right off the bat.

You mention money
There is no need to mention what your salary at past positions was, and definitely no need to announce the salary you’re looking for now. Save the financial negotiations for the interview stage.

You grovel
Employers can instinctively tell when an applicant is not sure of themselves – and it’s very off putting. Avoid saying things like, “I just thought I’d try and see if maybe you could possibly give me the opportunity to…” or “thank you so much for considering my application” or “even though I’m just starting out, I’m a hard worker” etc. An employer likely only needs to see whether you’re a good fit for the position or not, and begging makes you look unconfident and unprofessional.

Putting together a knock-out CV is no easy feat. You need to summarize your entire working history, explain why you’re incredibly hire-able and do it all in just a few short, sharp pages. But rest assured that if you keep your CV succinct and make sure to avoid the above mistakes, you have a much better chance of letting your skills really shine through.

15 Responses to “7 CV Mistakes That Make You Look Unprofessional”

  1. Comment made by kamogelo on Oct 29th 2014 at 8:25 am: Reply

    i appreciate what you’ve send me and i will do include necessary information and leave the unnecessary things.

    I wish you can draft for a piese of a cv to follow as i say, i apply but i don’t even have a call for an interview.

    Thans for your effort.


    • Comment made by admin on Oct 29th 2014 at 2:56 pm: Reply

      Hi Kamogelo, thanks for your comment – we are going to be releasing soon a CV Generator which will make it very easy for you to create a professional CV.

  2. Comment made by Ontse on Oct 30th 2014 at 6:14 am: Reply

    Thank you again for the info
    Lyk Kamo I would love I you could assist us with that cv generator … Ontse

  3. Comment made by david on Oct 30th 2014 at 6:26 am: Reply

    wow !!! what blunders I was making. Next time I will be more careful , please send me a sample of a CV.

    Thank you for your advice


  4. Comment made by Adoreen on Oct 31st 2014 at 7:01 am: Reply

    Thanks for a good advice that u giving us please send me a guideline cv to follow it, I did 2 page cv but still having some mistakes that u mentioned

  5. Comment made by Ntombizanele on Oct 31st 2014 at 11:05 am: Reply

    I would like you to email a correct format of cv that would help me to find a good job. With all regards…

  6. Comment made by ribz on Nov 1st 2014 at 5:15 am: Reply

    wow!!! thank u… now I know where I made mistakes, I will edit my cv and correct my mistakes.

  7. Comment made by Tumi on Nov 1st 2014 at 8:10 am: Reply

    I would really love the CV generator too, I see I have made quite alot of mistake by adding unnecessary things but Thank you

  8. Comment made by kamogelo on Nov 7th 2014 at 11:08 pm: Reply


    I would like to know how to edit the duties i’ve performed from my previous job, can i use bullets, numbers or long sentences as i don’t know if i can include them all or just take few to minimus the pages of my cv. please help me as i want to do a cv that will sell my self to the employers.


  9. Comment made by ludziya on Mar 18th 2015 at 11:13 am: Reply

    Hi thanks a lot for your advice,can you please send us a cv format please to guide us.

  10. Comment made by Nolita on Apr 23rd 2016 at 10:17 pm: Reply

    Hi, can u brief us for format cv

  11. Comment made by Mimmie on May 14th 2016 at 11:39 am: Reply

    hi wow can you please send me format cv i still have all those mistakes

  12. Comment made by Siphokazi portia xesi on Oct 13th 2016 at 8:31 pm: Reply

    I’m good person,I’m hardwork honest, realisable and trustworthy. I have good communication planning and organisational skills. Adaptable with high level of interpersonal interaction combined with sound problem analysis capacity ihave an ability to work long hours and. Under pressure to meet deadlines, lam active energetic and work clean

  13. Comment made by angelinamolelekwa31 @gmail.com on Jan 7th 2017 at 11:46 pm: Reply

    You are like an angel to me,I always put my church in C.V.I thought maybe it will make a employers to trust me.Thanks a lot for the advice’s.

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