So you think your CV is bulletproof?  Even the most experienced professionals still find themselves guilty of making a mistake or two. And do you know why you need to avoid the flaws before you start to do something with your CV? Because, people tend to notice more what's wrong than right. Yes, the same applies to your CV.  

Source: Study about tendency to think negatively.

Do you need more convincing? 

Imagine yourself after any kind of performance evaluation in which your boss praises your superhero abilities. THEN, at the very end, he slips in one tiny suggestion for "development.

What happens later? 

You replay the evaluation in your mind and all of the positive comments melt away or have profoundly smaller impact on you. Why? Because you're only able to focus on that one or two things for improvement!

Sound familiar? 

And maybe you think one or two small mistakes are not such a big deal. 


Employers receive hundreds of CVs and you have approximately 6 seconds to “wow” them. THELADDERS.COM recently conducted a comprehensive eye-tracking study of recruiters when they reviewed resumes. Their discovery was that recruiters spend only about six seconds reviewing a resume before making an initial “fit/no fit” decision on a candidate.  WHICH MEANS , that when you have just 6 seconds and we tend to focus more on mistakes than positive, YOU ARE OUT OF THE GAME! 





1. Curriculum vitae’ as the title 


Even the professionals in the field still make the mistake of titling their CV with the phrase ‘curriculum vitae’ or ‘CV’. This is so outdated and unnecessary.  Use your space on CV just on something what can give you a job. 

As most CVs are sent digitally, the file name of the document should be enough to signal to the recruiter what it is. 

It is much more better to use your name as the title of the document. After all, your CV is all about you right? Place it at the top of your CV in large lettering, followed by your email address, phone number, location and your LinkedIn URL.

Avoid poor file naming as well. When your CV arrives to the e-mail of the hiring manager, the filename will be visible. Saving your CV as something confusing like thisISmyCV123 looks very unprofessional and won’t give you the appearance of a candidate who cares about the details. 

In order to maintain a professional approach, save your CV in the format Forename Surname CV. It will also make it easier for a hiring manager to find your CV once it’s saved on their computer.


2. Highlighting generic cliches instead of showing your impact 


Are you also one of those who is missing a big opportunity to prove the value you can offer to an employer? Are you rather still trying to impress with the types of cliched terms “Hard-working team player” "Very punctual and flexible"  “Innovative forward thinker, detailed oriented and creative"? Oh, no. 


These cliched terms are highly overused and they don’t actually tell anything about you. If you want recruiters to know, that you are a hard-working team player, then prove it by using examples of the results you have achieved in a team. 

This method will not only add more persuasive context to your message but also give the employers a much more better understanding of you and your work. 

Here is how to do it: 

Always think about the skill and the result your skill have created or can create.  

For example: Your good skills are in relationship building and networking. 

  • If you are experienced in your job describe as a result - “how your skill led to growth in clients, sales and profits” 
  • If you are just starting, describe as a result - “how it can lead to growth in clients, sales and profits”

By using results to prove your impact, you will give employers persuasive reasons to hire you. 

Instead of describing your skills in boring adjectives and nouns, use action words to emphasise the positive energy you bring to the table. Try words and phrases such as: Achieved, Improved, Trained/Mentored, Managed, Created, Influenced, Increased/Decreased, Negotiated, Launched. Let's see how it looks like in the practice. 

I am "go-to people result oriented person" (just the skills without the explanation of the result and action words)

-   now we use action words, skill and result in the sentence. 

My influence improved relationship building and networking in XX place which increased sells by XX %. 


 (But don't write BAM, it is just for us, because you NAILED IT! ;) )


3. Avoid using the word "Responsible for" when you are describing your job experience. 


This one is very similar to the previous advice, but it needs it's own category, because we have seen that when people tried to describe their job experiences, they easily forget about the rule of using active words. 

So how to use the action words to show off your initiative?  It might sound like this: 

Instead of saying 

"I was responsible for creating and managing Facebook ads" 

you should say 

"I increased organic search visits by 30% over a year by creating and managing Facebook ads"

If you are not experienced yet you can say: 

"I was taught by  XX person with XX years of experience how to increase organic search visits by 30% over a year by creating and managing Facebook ads"

There are also plenty of great website which are filled with the action words which helps you to show yourself in the best light. For example: 


4. Avoid using passive words 


Are you the type of person who is passively sitting while things are happening to you? No? So why do you want to sound like that?

 Let's look at what we mean. 

Passive:  The project was completed before the deadline and the targets were exceeded.

Active: I completed the project before the deadline and exceeded my targets.

Which one do you think makes the writer sound better? Let’s look at another example:

Passive: The profit margins were increased by 10%.

Active: I increased the profit margins by 10%.

So, active or passive? The choice is yours, but we believe that you rather want to LOOK AS AN ACTIVE SUPERHERO !


5. Avoid using too much information (unnecessary)


It is important that you limit your CV into two pages in length and only include informations that are relevant to the jobs you are applying for. While creating the CV, it is always helpful to ask yourself:

 "Will this persuade an employer to hire me?” 

If the answer is no, then remove or reduce that point.
For example: Will Curriculum vitae’ as the title persuade an employer to hire me?  The answer is? :) ..


6.  Your CV is hard to skim 


Your CV shouldn’t look like a Sunday paper. It should be clear, and full of white space. 

Pro tip: Use bullet points rather than paragraphs. Then it’s easier for the hiring managers to track and skim your CV. 


What not to do:

EDUCATION: University of Texas, Austin, TX McCombs School of Business, MBA, High Technology Marketing, 2013 University of California Irvine, Irvine, CA College of Arts and Sciences, BA, Art History, 2008 EXPERIENCE: Internet Marketing Specialist, Zappos Analyzed and documented audience. 


What to do:

EXPERIENCE: Internet Marketing Specialist, Zappos 

  • Analyzed and documented audience profiles and behavior to grow marketing efforts throughout the funnel. 
  • Ran successful email retargeting campaigns that doubled revenue in one month. 
  • Grew customer engagement in 2 departments 3-fold. 
  • Grew 1 account value by 170% in 9 months, and a second by 230% in 13 months.

Need more facts? 

The eye-tracking study of recruiters from THELADDERS.COM  has a proof. The two resumes below include a “heat map” of the recruiters’ eye movements. The one on the right side was looked at more thoroughly because of its clear format. The one on the right, wasn't even finished by readers. The use of highlighted and bolded text, bullets, space and section dividers helped for keeping the hiring managers interested in the resume.  Source


7. Outdated credentials 


Maybe 10 years ago, “proficient in Microsoft Office” was an awesome addition to your CV. 

But now? 

Many basic tech skills, like typing speed and word processing, are either expected or irrelevant. Listing those outdated skills gives the impression that YOU are out of touch with the current job market.

What to do instead?

Swap in new, in-demand skills, such as Google Analytics, Facebook ads manager or Graphic designer. 


You’ll learn the online marketing skills that will skyrocket your resume to the top and give you the in demand skills you need to get that dream job.  



Having any kind of mistake can cost a job even the best professionals in the field. On the other hand, being ready for them can give you a huge advantage even if you don't have a lot of experiences. 

So, now that you’ve learnt how to avoid all those CV flaws,


Click on the following link to get your free CV template and let's go for it link


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