The Number 1 CV Error

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A conference of the Society of HR Management highlighted the number one error that job hunters make when writing their CV.

What do you think it was?

My first thoughts were some of the very common mistakes that I see, for example spelling or grammar mistakes, or too much information that is not relevant to the position the candidate is targeting.

However, I was wrong!

Apparently the vast majority of HR managers stated that the biggest mistake they saw was candidates applying for positions that they simply were not qualified for.


Because many candidates don’t realise that HR managers do not have the time to take a detailed look at the vast number of CVs they receive in order to try and figure out where the potential candidate would fit in the organisation. Too many people are applying for positions that they just aren’t qualified to do.

It is your responsibility as a job seeker to figure out if and where you would fit in the organisation, make it clear exactly what you are capable of and then apply for positions that you are qualified for.

The issue has been made worse by the ease at which candidates can simply upload their CV and apply online so you can very quickly apply for numerous positions without really checking if your CV shows that you are a good match for the job. In desperation, some job seekers had actually applied for every vacancy on one large company’s database!

No matter how desperate and in need of a job you are, this tactic will not work.

The solution

Only apply for jobs that you can prove you are capable of doing; and that does not mean that you have to be able to meet all the requirements on the job description 100%.

Take time to research and find the jobs that not only interest you but that you are actually qualified for. There are lots of websites that can help you to do this with LinkedIn being the prime example along with others like, Monsterboard and any special niche sites that list vacancies for the type job you are looking for.

Read and re-read the job description and the list of requirements the employers are asking for. This will help you update your resume and address the skills, experience and qualifications that employers are seeking. Then use this information to tailor your CV to show how your past achievements make you a very close match for the requirements for the job.

While not every hiring manager reads cover letters, you should always err on the safe side and write a really targeted one anyway. It is a great opportunity for you to sell yourself for the position. Use it to advertise your top skills and achievements and to address the specific needs of the employer. Then show exactly how you will be able to do the job.


© Anne Galloway

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Anne Galloway is the Careers Consultant for those who want to put the fun and passion back into their working week. Find out how Anne can help you along your path to career success at



I am a Certified Advanced Resume Writer, Employment Interview Consultant, and Career Coach and it is my aim to help ambitious and motivated people like you become fully empowered to get the job you want.