CV how to #2: 5 Common Mistakes to Avoid

5 common mistakes and how to avoid them:

  • Spelling & Punctuation

Everyone knows this one. Everyone highlights the importance of proofreading, but the reality is a lot of mistakes still slip through. Your eyes adjust, your brain fills in the blanks or you have been reading the same piece of writing so many times you know what it coming. This is a common problem I get in work when reading leases. So get someone else to read it, work or something else completely unrelated, or leave it a day before you proofread it again.

  • The Heading

Don’t use ‘Curriculum Vitae’ (yes, this is what I was taught at school as well). It is a dated convention and it is much more appropriate to use your name as the heading (with your personal information underneath – as a bonus it saves space).

  • IT Skills

I think of my IT skills as being expected and forget to list them on my CV. It is important to remember to include these if applying for a paralegal job or TC at a small firm , particularly as most jobs require “good working knowledge of [insert Microsoft programme here]”.  Previously I’ve completely overlooked development and use of case management systems as a skill until it came up as a “required skill” for my current job. It is helpful to note what skills different vacancies ask for and if they apply to you, to incorporate them in your general CV if you consider it appropriate, not just the application for that particular job.

  • Tailor your CV

Make sure you tailor your CV to the job. Yes it takes that little bit extra time, but if it stops your application going in the bin – it is worth it. How do you tailor your CV? Mirror the job application, research the firm, and the role.

  • Note accomplishments not just your responsibilities

Sometimes it can be hard to distinguish the two, particularly if you do not have targets. Accomplishments can blur with just doing the job. This is where having a career log comes in handy.Develop your career log throughout your working life.