The Top 5 Common CV Mistakes to Avoid in 2020

Posted on Thursday, January 2, 2020 by The CV WizardNo comments

New Year…new job? If you’re looking for a new role in 2020, then it’s time to get your CV up to scratch. As a leading London recruitment agency, we see hundreds of CVs each week, and we’ve seen that the same mistakes crop up time and time again. So today, we’ll reveal the common CV mistakes to avoid if you want to bag your dream role this year.

Our commitment to you

We’ve noticed that many recruitment agencies in London shy away from giving CV advice. Instead, they may use their own application formats or not be interested in giving advice that may help a candidate find a job elsewhere. However, as a top London recruitment agency, we believe that it’s a crucial part of our role to equip candidates with the skills they need to secure the job they’re looking for. And that means sharing our knowledge with you.

So, here are the top 5 CV mistakes to avoid:

  1. Length

    It can be immensely tempting to cram everything into your CV. But, this makes it look crowded. Honestly, recruiters simply don’t have the time to read lengthy CVs. They just need enough to grab their interest so they call you in for an interview. Stick to just two pages—and if you can’t manage that, then you’re including stuff that isn’t relevant. A good rule of thumb is that if it was more than 5 years ago (GCSE results, we’re looking at you), drop them entirely or mention them very briefly e.g. “9 GCSEs Grades A-C”.

  2. SPAG

    At the risk of sounding like a school teacher, you need to pay attention to your spelling and grammar. This is particularly vital if you’re applying for office support jobs in London where high standards are expected or roles where proofreading is part of your duties. Get someone else to proofread your CV so the stand-out thing isn’t your poor spelling.

  3. Your interests and personality

    This one often comes as a surprise. Frequently, candidates believe the myth that they need to be almost robotic on their CV, dropping any indication of who they are as an individual. However, employers look for elements of “you” beyond your experience and education. They’re looking for whether you’re a good fit within the organisational culture, and they want something to break the ice at interview.

  4. Achievements

    CVs tend to become lists of experience, responsibilities, and tasks. Plus, if you’re British, you’ll be included to lean towards modesty. Sadly, your CV isn’t the place for this. Instead, it should showcase your achievements and sing them from the rooftops! Don’t just write down your responsibilities—note what you have achieved. For example, did you reduce business spending in a particular area? Or did you pull off a high-profile large event?

  5. Irrelevance

The harsh reality is that each CV you send out should be tailored to each individual role. This is a tough order. Your CV will require less tailoring if you use a recruitment agency in London and stick to one area of work, such as office support jobs in London. However, if you’re applying for a customer service role and an office administrator role, you need to tailor your CV accordingly. An efficient way to do this is create a standalone section at the beginning of your CV highlighting your relevant experience for the role you’re applying for. You can then switch this out according to the application.

So, these are the top mistakes to avoid. You can also find out the other side of CV writing by discovering the top selling points of a CV and following our CV writing tips. Plus, you can also come in to see us at our London recruitment agency where one of our consultants can give you some one on one CV advice to bag your next role in 2020.


Love Success is a leading PA and secretarial recruitment agency in London.
Our recruiters can help you find secretarial jobs, office support jobs, and top PA jobs in London.

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