7 Ways To Kill a CV. Dead.


Today I want to talk to you about some of the things people do that ruin an otherwise perfectly good CV. Why? Because I’ve seen this happen way too many times and it’s easily avoidable.


Bearing in mind that an employer may receive over a hundred applications for even pretty senior positions and you want to be on the ‘yes’ pile, heed these basic don’ts:

1. Telling your prospective employer that they should contact you at badgalriri2010@whoever.com

An unprofessional-sounding email address will put an employer off straight away. Keep it simple, keep it professional, like using your actual name. Add a number or two if your name isn’t unique.

2. Using the same CV, whichever role you apply for

It’s so obvious when an applicant hasn’t edited their CV to fit the role they’re applying for because there’s no link between the information within the CV and the role. You can help yourself by using keywords within your CV that match the employer‘s advert/ job description/role in general.

3. Using clichéd keywords

As I’ve mentioned keywords, phrases such as ‘I’m a hardworking team player’ and ‘able to use own initiative’ are found on many CVs but they are overused and they don’t add value. They definitely don’t set you apart! Think about who you are, your personal brand, the real skills, experience and achievements that make you unique and tailor to fit the role.

4. Including every job you’ve ever had

Unless you’re just starting out in the world of work, this is a real killer. Employers won’t trawl through pages and pages to pick our relevant information, meaning you’ll have wasted your very valuable time putting it together. Unless your work is highly specialised, try to limit your work history to cover the past 10 years, max.

5. Not cheking for speling erors

6. Telling lies

Well, to be pedantic, telling lies on your CV won’t kill your CV but it could get you sacked if an employer takes you on, then finds out you lied about something that may have influenced their original decision to employ you. Blow your own horn, make yourself sound brilliant because you ARE the bomb, but keep it real.

7. Thinking that an employer can’t give you a bad reference

I’ve heard this before and it’s a kind of myth. An employer isn’t always obliged to provide a reference for ex-employees, except in particular circumstances and it must be fair and accurate, however, a question often asked by the new employer is along the lines of ‘would you employ this person again?’ If the answer is a no, clearly, this would be considered to be a bad reference, even though the previous employer hasn’t actually bad-mouthed you.

This won’t kill your CV either but as some people choose to include reference details on their CV (which I advise against), be sure that your chosen referee will have positive things to say about you. Read here for further info.


You’re too gifted to ruin your chances of getting that dream role by falling at the first hurdle and submitting a poor CV. Your CV doesn’t need to be amazing or brilliant ( that’s for you to be when you get to interview), but it needs to be effective, which simply means, it gets you interviews.

Until next time…



Tamaan WilkinsonComment