To avoid common CV writing mistakes you must keep in mind that often CVs sent to larger companies or uploaded to online job boards are stored on a vast database and retrievable by recruiters and potential employers through keyword searches.

The CV is generally saved as in an Applicant Tracking System as a text file rather than a Word.doc. Text file CVs do not understand or display any of the zesty sex appeal of your beautifully written CV.

Even hard copies of CVs sent out on expensive paper are generally scanned and uploaded to this central system which may save your file in plain text.
If your CV contains a range of fonts, any tables or graphics this may confuse the system, the characters on your CV change to nonsense and despite all that hard work spent perfecting your CV, it may well lose its shine and may be hidden in the depths of a giant database never to be seen again.

So how can you avoid these CV writing mistakes and your CV being lost in cyberspace?

Avoid using a CV template – if you must use one, ensure you take note of all of the below points.

Avoid graphics or symbols of any kind except for simple bullet points

Avoid document headers or footers

Avoid using a large range of font styles or sizes – no more than two or three maximum

Avoid use of tables when formatting – try to use tabs where possible.

Avoid use of a photo -not only could this distort he system but most firms in the UK wiill delete photos to ensure they can’t discriminate on the basis of age, race, sex, hair colour or anything else they may see.

Avoid use of graphics, symbols and WingDings


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If you want to be 100% sure that your CV will be understood by the job board or organisation’s Applicant Tracking System, save it as a plain text document and review. Ensure it looks exactly as you would like it to. CityCV can help with CV writing, call us on +44 20 7100 6656