Top 6 CV Howlers You Should Avoid

Imagine this: the job of your dreams has just become available and you have the inside track on who to contact with your CV. You are itching to get your application in before the rest of humanity spots the advert online, so in a fit of excitement, you quickly draft a CV and covering letter, and hit ‘send’. Sounds great, right?


A CV is your one and only chance to capture the attention of an employer or HR professional, so if you screw things up, you can kiss that dream job goodbye forever. Unfortunately, an awful lot of people get it oh so badly wrong at the first hurdle and never actually make it to the interview stage, even though they are qualified and could probably do the job standing on their head. So if you have your eye on a fantastic job and don’t want to mess things up, it is essential that you don’t commit any of the following howlers.

Top 6 CV Howlers You Should Avoid

Send Your CV to the Wrong Company

When you have multiple job applications in progress, it is hard to keep on top of things. Unfortunately, sending your CV to the wrong company won’t do much for your chances of success.  If you adopt a one CV fits all approach, it might not matter, but if you have carefully re-written your CV to ensure it is a good fit for a particular job, and then send it to a different company, oh dear…

Don’t Misspell the Recipients Name Wrong

You need to pay attention to detail when preparing a job application. HR managers tend to get a bit peeved when applicants get their name wrong. And when you have two hundred CVs to sift through, any excuse to bin some is welcome.

Proof Check!

Careless spelling errors, grammatical mistakes and typos look careless and strongly suggest you don’t pay a lot of attention to detail. Since this doesn’t bode well for your performance at work, be very surprised if you get invited to an interview.

Oops! Forgot the Attachment!

It looks highly unprofessional if you send a covering email to an employer or HR manager and then forget to attach your CV. Under normal circumstances, you might get away with such a lapse of concentration, but for a job application, it could be fatal.

Formatting Errors

Check the formatting before sending a CV anywhere. Saving the file as a DOC file or similar is not a good idea because not all recipients will be able to open it. Ideally print your CV to a PDF file, as this will open on all systems, including mobile devices.

Use a Sensible Email Address

It is sensible to send a job application from a personal email address, especially if you haven’t told your current employer you are looking for a new position, but give some thought to the email address you are using. Generic email address such as [at] are fine, but if your email handle is partygirl69, think very carefully about the image you are putting out to potential employers.

And finally, ask a friend to read through your CV a couple of times before sending to catch any last minute mistakes.

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