Bad Habits that can Prevent you Landing your Dream Job

Compelling CV content and a sharp structure are the key factors to a candidate getting their application to stand out and securing interviews. However, the most minor of application errors could result in falling at the first hurdle.

Here are the main red flags to be aware of when you’re looking for your next career move.

Poor Format

CV structure is just as important as the content within it. A precise format will enable the employers to clearly understand your experience, skills and relevance for the position.

Break up your CV into distinctive sections with clear headers and include bullet points for large paragraphs of text and when listing skills or qualifications, so they can be easily identified. A messy structure will only employers’ attention and will cause them to miss critical information.

Include the most important and relevant experience and skills to the role at the top of your CV. This will make sure that the employer sees the relevancy of your application straight away and entice them to read the rest of your CV. Layout your career and educational background in reverse chronological order will help portray a clear timeline to the reader.

Not Explicit to the Role

Even though your CV should state your career and educational background, it should also clearly show the employer why you would be the perfect fit for the position you are applying for. You can achieve this by tailoring your CV to relate to each job you apply for. Asserting your suitability for the sector they’re pursuing. Your CV should include keywords and core strengths that are required within their industry and mentioned within the advert.

A tip is to keep your CV precise by shortening role descriptions for less related or older positions. This will allow you to focus on your experience and qualifications that you do have that are clearly suitable and related to the job.


Overused phrases and words add nothing to a CV and your application will end up getting lost amongst the rest. An informative and strong CV will leave the employer wanting to know more about you and progress your application to do so.

Clichés take up valuable space within your CV. Be sure to take out phrases such as “excellent communication skills” or “great team player” and replace them with statements that clearly show these skills and again exactly why you would make the perfect candidate for the job.

No Mention of achievements

Make sure to focus on the impact you had within previous positions and organisations by including key accomplishments.

Incorporating facts into examples will help strengthen these achievements and give more context to employers. For example, if you state, “For three consecutive months I overachieved my target by an extra £1,500 and brought in 5 new clients Instead of my target of 3”, rather than just stating “I am an extremely hard worker and team player and always hit my target” doesn’t clearly portray or prove to the employer what your saying is accurate.

Making this change within your CV will make it stand out from the rest and will highlight why you should be hired.

Unexplained gaps

If you have been travelling, taking a career break or had time off for personal reasons, identifying these gaps shows honesty and again explains to the reader why there is a gap. If it is not expressed in your CV, the employer will be left guessing and this could go against you. Employment gaps aren’t negative but by not providing any explanation, employers will start to question whether there was an adverse reason behind these gaps. A big explanation isn’t necessary, just a short description to provide the reader with some background information will prevent your CV from