Preparing for your future

5 mistakes you don’t want to make on your CV…

Have you made any of these mistakes on your CV? Sophie, student intern explains…


  1. Are there any typos or grammatical errors?

    The latest research suggests your CV has 8.8 seconds in an employer’s hands. 8.8 seconds to show you’re the best person for the job. Before you send your CV off, double check your spelling and grammar is accurate throughout. If you miss any typos, the employer might think you don’t care. You wouldn’t want to miss out on an opportunity because you failed to proofread. INSTEAD: Pop into 51a Park Place and ask your careers advisor to read over it and give advice.

  2. Leave out the buzzwords

    According to new LinkedIn research, buzzwords like ‘motivated’, ‘enthusiastic’ and ‘passionate’ appear time and time again. Prove it, don’t say it. INSTEAD: Demonstrate your enthusiasm by telling the employer about your work experience and volunteer positions that are relevant to the particular sector.

  3. Listing your duties instead of your accomplishments

    Employers don’t want to know what you’ve done, but rather what you’ve accomplished. What benefits are you going to bring to the position as opposed to the next candidate? Attending group meetings and writing them up is one thing but how did you excel?

    INSTEAD: Make sure your CV highlights your skills…

    • Attended group meetings and recorded minutes
    • Used laptop computer to record weekly meeting minutes and compiled them in a Microsoft Word-based file for future organisational reference.Which candidate would you hire?
  4. Listing incorrect contact information

    When applying for a job, it is essential that an employer can reach you. Make sure that your phone number and email address are clearly located on your CV.  INSTEAD: If you might be busy during the day but expect an employer to get in touch, tell them your preferred method of contact.

  5. Failing to be specific

    When writing your CV, don’t leave out important details! Where possible, include statistics or facts that clarify exactly what you’ve done. It could be that your previous employer’s online traffic increased by 40 views per day during the time you worked there.

    INSTEAD: If you’ve worked with employees in a restaurant setting, consider rephrasing your role as ‘recruited, hired, trained and supervised more than 20 employees in a restaurant with 2 million in annual sales’. The details and specifics are more likely grab an employer’s attention.

Haven’t written your CV yet? Come along to the CV and Covering Letter masterclass, book your place here.  The masterclass will show you how to use different CV layouts, and to tailor your CV to match individual employers’ requirements. You will also find out what should be included in your covering letter.

If you’ve written your CV and you’re happy with it, consider popping into the drop in sessions with your careers advisor to see where you can improve. Drop in runs from 1pm to 4pm every weekday at 51a Park Place. If you need to see a career advisor urgently, please arrive at 12 to ensure you get a place.

Best wishes,
Sophie, Student Intern.


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The Student Support Centre has a range of services dedicated to helping students make the most of their time at University, including: Advice and MoneyCareers and EmployabilityCounselling, Health and WellbeingDisability and Dyslexia and International Student Support.

The Student Support Centres are located at 50 Park Place, Cathays Campus and Cardigan House, Heath Park Campus.

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