Applying for a job can be stressful. Especially when you spot a job advertisement just before the deadline. You just want to send your cover letter and CV as soon as possible. In a hurry a small mistake is easily made. Which is a shame, because little CV mistakes can ruin the first impression you make on your job application. Fortunately little mistakes are often easy to avoid, always check your cover letter and CV for these 5 little mistakes before sending out your application.
CV Mistake #1: Typos and writing errors
Everybody knows you need to check your cover letter and CV for typos and writing errors. But still, often due to the pressure of a deadline, we see a lot of typos slip through the spell check. Don’t just rely on your computers spell checker. A lot of the writing errors we see are caused by the tweaking of your sentences. In a search to make the sentences perfect, we often forget to erase old parts of sentences or separate words. Unfortunately not all spell checkers recognize the errors in these half sentences and separate words. Always let a friend or a family member check your cover letter and CV for typos and writing errors before sending out your job application. Two pair of eyes will certainly find these little mistakes and separate words that are so easily overlooked.
CV Mistake #2: Adding an informal photo to your CV
Adding a photo to a CV is often a point of discussion, in some countries a photo on your CV is even an absolute no-go. If you decide to add a photo to your CV, make sure it is a decent and formal picture. Don’t just take that picture from your vacation on which you (accidentally) look fantastic and crop it. Take a more formal portrait picture. Ask a friend to take some pictures in a more formal setting, you can try different backgrounds or different angles. You could also hire a professional photographer, but a good mobile phone and a helpful friend will often give you some decent formal pictures you can use on your CV.
CV Mistake #3: A quirky email address
Even your email address itself can give your job application an unprofessional first impression. Maybe it was funny when you were a student to have an email address like littleprincess92@…mail.comor jagermeister86@…mail.com,but when you are applying for a job such an email address can leave an immature or irresponsible impression. In some countries it is also an absolute no-go to put the date of birth on your CV. If this is the case in your country, avoid using an email address that shows your year of birth. If necessary you can always create a new email address on outlook or Gmail, you can do this for free within seconds.
CV Mistake #4: Sending your cover letter and CV without your name in the filename
Recruiters and hiring managers often receive a huge amount of cover letter and CV documents from candidates.When you just name your file cv.docx or coverletter.pdf this will be frustrating for them. They will have to rename your files before they can store them. It is better to save your files with at least your last name mentioned in the filename. Naming your file cv.docx is of course not a crucial mistake, but it is always better to prevent your files from being an source of irritation for recruiters.
CV Mistake #5: Wrong salutation, date, subject or contact person
When you are in a hurry to meet the deadline it is tempting to grab an old cover letter or CV, rearrange a couple of sentences, add a couple of keywords and push the send button quickly. But in a hurry we often forget to adjust important details of a cover letter or CV. We regularly see cover letters with the wrong date or the wrong subject title or even more embarrassing, with the wrong salutation or the wrong contact person on top. It is not a coincidence that we see these mistakes particularly in cover letters or CV’s that arrives just before the deadline. Deadline stress is not something we can always avoid when applying for a job. If you are in a hurry, always make a small checklist to check before you hit that send button.