Avoiding the five deadly sins of writing your CV

There are many myths about what constitutes a winning CV. Be sure to avoid the following fatal flaws when pulling together your CV.

Sin 1 being too verbose

Keep your CV short! Your CV should whet the reader’s appetite to find out more about you: you should not be aiming to inundate the employer with absolutely everything that can be said about you.

As a rule of thumb, keep your CV to one page if you have five or fewer years’ paid work experience. If you are more experienced, feel free to have two pages. Only if you have substantial such as ten years’ experience, directly relevant experience should you stretch to three pages. Anything more than three pages merely tells the employer that you are a long-winded person who struggles to be concise.

Sin 2 making pompous claims about yourself

It’s fine to talk about skills such as influencing people or analyzing problems. And it’s good to mention achievements such as the actual results you have attained. But steer clear of describing yourself using phrases such as “an ambitious worker with an optimistic, supportive and helpful attitude” or “a talented, warm individual with management potential”.

Be very careful of using empty adjectives. Strong candidates avoid adjectives entirely and instead give brief examples to prove that they have the right skills.