How NOT to Write a CV!
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International Language Job Centre Home curriculum vitae preparation * write a CV * how to write a professional resumé *

How NOT to Write a CV!

Alert

WARNING! CV DISASTER AHEAD


Sometimes the only way to improve is to learn from mistakes - preferably other peoples' mistakes. With this in mind, we've put together what could just be the most awful CV you've ever seen. Mistakes in the CV are linked to discussion below.

CURRICULUM VITAE

Personal Details

Name:Diana Saster
Date of Birth:29th Febuary 1995
Address: 13, Hapless Road, London sw10 2ju
Telephone: 081 123 4567
Sex:Female
Marital Status:Single
Nationality: English

Education

1983-1987 Hapless Road Junior School
1987-1994 Hapless Road Senior School: 10 GCSEs, 4 A levels - Economics, History, Maths, General Studies
1994 - to date Any University, Anytown, studying for a BA in Economics

Work History

1988-1989: Paper Round for ABC Newsagents
Delivered newspapers for 50 people
1994-1995: Assistant Bar Manager for the Pink Flamingo, Anytown
I became familiar with the full range of products supplied in the bar and enjoyed striking up a rapport with customers. (Left after disagreement with the manager)

Extracurricular Activities

Entertainments Officer for the University Drinking Society
Captain of the University Women's Hockey Team

General Skills

Conversational Mandarin
Word Procesing Skills
Driving Licence (7 points)

References

Dr Jones, Any University, Anytown
Mr Derek Saster 13 Hapless Road, London

CV Disasters Explored

Personal Details

29th Febuary 1995
Unless Di's an extremely advanced toddler, she's swapped a 9 for a 7. And that's not how you spell February.
sw10 2ju
Post Codes are of course given in capitals.
081 123 4567
Obviously the most recent version of your phone's area code is best.
Sex: Female
It's quite clear what Diana's sex is and not really relevant for the CV anyway.
Marital Status:Single
Again, this is extraneous to a CV.
Nationality: English
If this unnecessary information is to be included, it should be right; i.e. British, not English.

Back to the Top

Education

Hapless Road Junior School
While it might have been a formative experience, employers don't want to know about your junior school so leave it out. Di should have started with her most recent education too.
4 A levels - Economics, History, Maths, General Studies
It looks like a good collection of A levels, but where are the grades?
BA in Economics
Di hasn't revealed her exam grades to date or her expected final grade. Employers may assume that she's in for a third or maybe worse, even though she's a model student.

Back to the CV

Work History

Work History
Di's changed her CV format here and it looks messy.
Paper Round
A paper-round you did when you were 13 may not impress potential employers very much; and where are those 'action' words that stress achievement and benefits?
Assistant Bar Manager
Here was a real opportunity for Di to show that she has held down a real job requiring skill and responsibility. Sadly, her description of her role makes it sound like she spent her time drinking, chatting to customers and (eventually) getting fired. Di also worked on a vacation placement to an accountancy firm, but she's forgotten to mention it here.

Back to the CV

Extracurricular Activities

Entertainments Officer for the University Drinking Society
Not a good thing to put on a CV unless you want to look like an alcoholic.
Captain of the University Women's Hockey Team
This is more like it, but a little description wouldn't go amiss.

Back to the CV

General Skills

Conversational Mandarin
Impressive, but sadly untrue. Di is fluent in French, however, but inexplicably she's left this out.
Word Procesing Skills
Emphatically not the place to fall victim to a typo.
Driving Licence (7 points)
If it's not clean don't mention it.

References

Mr Derek Saster, 13 Hapless Road, London
Name seem a little familiar? Do not get relatives to write you a reference.

Now follow this link for how to get things right

Back to Creating the Perfect CV


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