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19 CV Writing Myths To Stop Believing In 2023

Are you looking to beef up your CV in 2023? It can be an overwhelming journey, with everyone giving their two cents' worth on the various elements that a good modern-day CV should possess.

Unfortunately, not all of this advice is helpful and accurate. Fret not! In this article, the professional CV writers PurpleCV is empowering job seekers to sift through outdated practices and gain control of their story by debunking some common misconceptions. Get ready for a crash course in modern CV writing tactics that will help land your dream role faster than ever!

Including Your Previous Job Descriptions

Many job seekers wrongly assume that including a long-winded description of their previous role is essential. However, this is far from the truth! Too much information can be just as detrimental to your CV as not enough, so keep it concise and focused on the impact you had in each position.

Making Your CV Too Long

It's easy to feel the urge to include every notable achievement and experience, but it is much better to stick to one or two pages. Recruiters spend no more than 6-7 seconds per CV.

Making Your CV Too Short

It's a widespread belief that a CV should be no longer than a single page. However, if your professional experience goes beyond 10 years, it is virtually impossible to demonstrate your potential in such a short space. So don’t be afraid to expand on your previous roles and experiences if necessary.

Focusing On the Role, Not Your Achievements

Your CV should be tailored to each individual role you apply for, but many job seekers mistakenly assume that it should just focus on their role descriptions rather than the accomplishments achieved in each one. A good CV should always demonstrate the successes and achievements you have had in addition to listing your roles.

Using an Outdated Template

It's no secret that recruiters get bored of seeing the same CVs over and over again. To stand out from the crowd, consider using a unique layout or adding an infographic that demonstrates your skillset. There is no one-size-fits-all solution when it comes to CV design, so don’t be afraid to show some personality.

Not Tailoring Your CV To The Job

Your CV should reflect the job you are applying for, so make sure to tailor it accordingly. Include all relevant skills and experiences that demonstrate why you’re the right person for the role, as well as add quantifiable examples of results achieved in prior positions.

Emphasizing Your Soft Skills Too Hard

Soft skills are important, but they shouldn’t take up the majority of your CV. In today's competitive market, employers need to see that you can provide tangible results and have a demonstrable track record of success. So make sure to include quantifiable achievements in addition to listing your interpersonal qualities.

Including Your Photo

Including your photo on your CV is often seen as a no-no, and for a good reason. Unless specifically requested to do so by an employer, it’s better to leave the photo off in order to avoid any potential issues around discrimination.

Being Too Creative With Your CV Design

It’s important to make your CV stand out, but it should still be easy to read. Avoid using too many different fonts and colors, as they can be distracting. Your creativity should be used in your experience section instead - use bullet points or include an infographic of the results you achieved in each role.

Lying In Your CV

It goes without saying that including white lies on your CV is unacceptable. Not only will you be caught out by the employer, but it could also have serious legal implications. Be honest and transparent in all aspects of your application to ensure you get the best chance at success.

Including References Without Being Asked To

Including references on your CV without being asked to do so is unnecessary and can take up valuable space. If an employer wants a reference, they will contact you directly and provide details of who to include in it.

Using An Unprofessional Email

Your email address should be professional and reflect your name. Avoid using any generic, childish or offensive usernames as they can leave a bad impression on the recruiter or employer. Of course, it is not advisable to include your company email either as it is frowned upon to apply for jobs while still employed by someone else. Although more often than not, that's the case, avoid using your current work email for job applications.

Neglecting The Cover Letter

Unless specifically asked to not provide a cover letter along with your CV, this is a document that can really make you stand out from the other candidates. Same as CVs, cover letters need to also be tailored to each specific role you apply for. If you send out a generic one, it may have the opposite effect!

Not Investing In Your LinkedIn profile/ Leaving It Out

A well-built professional profile can really help you out in the job search. Make sure to include a link to your LinkedIn profile on your CV, as recruiters and employers may use it to learn more about you. If your profile doesn’t reflect the skills and experiences listed on your CV, then it is worth investing some time in improving it.

Skipping A CV Summary Section

A common misconception is that a CV is simply a list of your education and work history. Although at the most part, it is exactly that, jumping straight to your qualifications is not recommended. Instead, ease the recruiter in with a brief CV summary where you describe the skills and qualifications you possess.

Including Irrelevant/ Personal Information

Unless directly asked for, don’t include too much personal information on your CV such as your age, marital status or nationality - this could potentially lead to discrimination. Stick to the relevant details and focus on the skills and experiences that are applicable to the job you are applying for.

Not Including Keywords

Including your related skills, qualifications and experience is key to demonstrating how you are suitable for the role. As mentioned before, make sure to pay attention to relevant details when adding them into your CV as they will be picked up by applicant tracking systems (ATS).

Demonstrating Poor Grammar & Spelling

It is important to check and double-check your CV for any mistakes or typos before submitting it; this isn't just about being professional, but also demonstrates your attention to detail. Poor grammar or spelling can give off the wrong impression and lead recruiters to think that you’re not serious about applying for the job.

Career Gaps Are Strictly Forbidden

Everyone has had career gaps for different reasons; this is not something unheard of and you shouldn't hide it in your CV either. Just describe your most relevant experience and leave the explanations for your cover letter or the interview.

The Takeaway

It is important to keep your CV up-to-date and tailored to the job you are applying for. You should also invest in your LinkedIn profile and include a cover letter. Career gaps are not strictly forbidden, but you should be able to explain to them if they exist on your CV. Including keywords, demonstrating good grammar and spelling, and including relevant information are all key components of a strong CV. With a little time and effort, you can create a CV that will help you land the job you want in 2023.