5 Examples of Mistakes From Real CVs You Need to Avoid

  | 4 min read
examples cv mistakes

For the month of July, we had focused on CVs. We hope you have gotten something new from the posts of CV Dont’s, Unnecessary Information in CVs and the Format of A Good CV. This is going to be our final post on the topic of CVs, at least for now, and for the final post, we would like to share with you real examples of mistakes that job seekers make in their CVs. We have pulled some CVs that have been uploaded on the BrighterMonday platform for this educational piece. These are real CVs. 

For privacy, we have redacted any personal information that might reveal the identity of the job seeker. This way, we will be able to focus on the real mistakes that are committed in CVs. 

1. “Curriculum Vitae” As a Title of Your CV

examples cv mistakes

There is no need for titling your CV as CV. Why? Apart from being unnecessary, it simply doesn’t add anything interesting to your CV. In fact, most job seekers who begin their CVs this way, they tend to put it in a big font size which takes up space. See the second example.

2. Entire Education History

examples cv mistakes

We had also shared that it is not important to include primary and secondary education levels. If you have graduated from a college or university, it is assumed that you have passed through the previous levels of education. So, don’t take too much space listing every level of education you have gone through. Nursery School Certificate? A big No. The first example clearly shows how you can waste space listing everything. This job seeker was supposed to have one line only for the Bachelor’s degree in Human Resources Management. 

3. Bad Organization

examples cv mistakes

examples cv mistakes

examples cv mistakes

How many pages should your CV be? Conventionally, your CV should not be longer than two pages. Yes, only two pages. That is not a lot of pages. So, the organization of your CV is very important. One, it makes your CV readable, and second, it helps you fit everything into two pages. Think about the spacing. Think about the Font type and size you use. Shorten long sentences to short and concise sentences. Use bullet points. 

The first example shows how putting so much space between sentences fills up your CV. The second one shows how hard it is to read sentences that do not have bullet points. The last example shows the mistake of not spacing your sentences. “Ready to learn” is not something that will be accepted by a recruiter. 

4. Responsibilities & No Achievements

examples cv mistakes

When a job is advertised, the advert will have a long list of what the position will execute. Repeating the list of similar responsibilities in your CV doesn’t say anything special. For all we know, you could have copied and pasted what was in the advert. Spend more time talking about your achievements instead of responsibilities. If you spend more time talking about your achievements, you will be able to show a recruiter that you are an asset. 

This example shows how a job seeker can dedicate an entire page of their CV to listing the responsibilities. This is bad management of space. Don’t do this. Remember, the recruiter already knows what a Marketing Executive does. What they want to see is your achievement related to your collaboration with affiliates, the number of marketing plans you came up with and their impacts on Sales and Leads, etc. 

5. Declaration

You don’t have to declare anything. You are not at the Customs Office. We will take that it is your CV if you have uploaded it on your BrighterMonday job seeker account. If you look at this example, you can see how you can end up wasting so much space, listing all the way you are declaring that your CV is true and accurate.

We are not sharing this so you can laugh at the mistakes made by these job seekers. No! We are sharing this so you can all learn by example what is not supposed to be included in your CV. We hope that you will be able to have a strong CV that will attract the attention of those who will go through it. Also, we hope that you will be able to accentuate what is amazing about you so you can be called for an interview. Remember to keep your CV to not more than two pages. 


Stephen Swai
Stephen Swai is a Marketing Manager with a passion for using words to inspire, educate and transform.