5 Mistakes You Might Be Making On Your Curriculum Vitae

The Curriculum Vitae is a complicated document. Unlike a traditional resume, it requires extensive information about your academic education and/or research background, as well as your experience. Because it is potentially so complex, it’s common to make a few formatting and content mistakes. Let’s take a look at the five mistakes you might be making on yours.

#1 One Size Fits All Approach

This is a common and unfortunate mistake. Job seekers create their CV and they send the exact same document to 500 different employers. They don’t take the time to tweak each one to the specific job they’re applying for. Before you send yours to an employer, spend time researching the opportunity. Mirror the language in the job posting in it. Adjust your brand statement to better match the opportunity and use keywords to highlight how your unique skills and abilities fit into that company and their corporate culture. This isn’t to say that you can’t create one document from which to work. In fact, that’s a great idea. However, each time you send yours to an employer, make sure that it is modified to fit that particular job posting.

#2 Writing a Book

Just because you have 50 years of experience in research and academia doesn’t mean you need to write a memoir about your experience. While CV’s are traditionally longer than the standard resume, they shouldn’t be more than three pages. Focus on the most relevant and most recent experience that you have, rather than every single job you’ve ever held in your life.

#3 Saving The Best For Last

It takes most people between 10 and 20 seconds to make an assessment. They’ll see the first page of your CV and decide whether they want to read more. This means it’s important to make a great first impression. Place your most compelling and relevant information on the first page.

#4 Bad Formatting

It’s important to make sure that your Curriculum Vitae is easy to read. That means it’s written in a clear fonts like Times New Roman and that it’s large enough to read easily. 10-12 point font is a good choice. You can also clearly identify the different sections of your resume with subheadings. Additionally, you want to make sure that the format meets the requirements of the particular job posting you’re applying for. Some organizations have a very rigid structure that they want you to follow and if you’re sending out a one-size-fits-all document to all potential employers your may be missing good opportunities.

#5 Grammar and Spelling Mistakes

Unfortunately, this is one of the most common mistakes made.  If you write it yourself, have a few trusted associates or friends and family members proofread it before you send it anywhere. Grammar and spelling errors are a surefire way to ensure you make an impression – a bad one. One way to avoid making any of these errors is to hire a professional writer. Look for someone who specializes in writing Curriculum Vitae as they are different than a traditional resume. A professionally written one can help ensure you always make a great impression with potential employers.


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