Student CV Mistakes to Avoid

CV Mistakes That Students Should Avoid

Whether you’re:

  • Finishing your degree
  • Looking for a summer internship
  • Seeking a part-time job

It can be hard to know what to put into your student CV.  You might not know how to showcase your skills to put your best foot forward.

There are a few mistakes that we see students and graduates make all the time in their CVs. This blog will break them down to help you make a great first impression.


1. Rush your Application

It’s easy to get over-excited when your dream role comes up. You want to be the first to get your application in to get ahead of the crowd!

One of the biggest mistakes you can make is rushing your application. If you are frantically putting your student CV together, you could make errors and miss out key information.

You know that you’re a great candidate – make sure the recruiter sees you the same way! Check your spelling and grammar and read the job description carefully.

2. Send a Generic CV

You might not be looking for your dream job – just a job in general! This means you will be applying for loads of different roles, in different industries. So you can’t send each recruiter the same CV.

This is one of the biggest mistakes you could make while job-hunting. We see experienced employees doing it all the time too!

It’s a time-consuming process, but every position you apply for needs to have a tailored CV.

This doesn’t mean big changes. Focus on making small tweaks so your documents reflect what each job description is looking for.

3. Embellish your Skills

It’s easy to have an inferiority complex when you lack professional experience. Sometimes, this means that you exaggerate specific skills or competencies you have.

Remember that regardless of your work experience, you have so much to offer employers! Think about societies, academic work, and voluntary projects you’ve been part of during your time at university. Pull out what is special about each of these experiences for your student CV.

Keep it short, with the relevant information only. You’ll be able to expand on your points once you’ve been invited to interview.

4. Choose the Wrong Template

There are so many CV templates out there. If you’re new to job-hunting, you might think one with a strong aesthetic design will impress employers.

This is a huge mistake! These templates are nice to look at, but they might not be readable by recruiter software as graphics are not scannable – meaning you won’t make it past the first round of applications.

Unless you’re applying for a graphic design role, or a position where bold design would showcase your creativity – keep it simple.

Your CV needs to be readable and your key skills need to be easily found. You aren’t being judged on how your CV looks – keep your focus on the information you’re sharing about yourself!

5. Miss Out Key Information

Here are a few key pieces of information that we see students forget to include on their CVs…

  • Work Experience – Include some information on any placements you have had, plus any part-time employment experience.
  • Keywords –Many applications are screened by software, so use the same language as the job description. Check for keywords and use them throughout your CV.
  • Contact Details – Include your primary email address and an up-to-date phone number. Otherwise, you aren’t contactable for an interview!

BONUS TIP: Set up a professional email address! The one you set up as a teenager might not make the best impression on employers.

6. Use Cliches

You might think using buzzwords will help you stand out – but the reality is the opposite.

At The CV Guru, we evaluate and write CVs every single day. Here are the buzzwords and phrases we see the most…

  • Passionate
  • Hardworking
  • Driven
  • Problem-solver

These words are so over-used now that they don’t mean anything. And they don’t say anything about you as a candidate!

Instead of using these words to describe yourself, prove yourself through actions. Give an example of a time that you’ve solved a problem – this will make much more of an impact on employers.

7. Have a Messy Structure 

Finally, a mistake we see in student CVs all the time is a messy layout. Your information needs to be divided into clear sections to be easily scannable.

Keep your experience in chronological order. Put the most recent first and use bullet points to pull out key information. No long paragraphs – you want to make it easy for the recruiter to find out how great a candidate you are!

We hope this blog has given you some top tips that will make writing your student CV a breeze. Have confidence in yourself with every application. Whether you’ve finished your studies or you’ve just started, the right employer would be lucky to have you.

If you struggle to write about yourself or you aren’t getting the interviews you want, a professional CV writing service could be of help. Work with us and you’ll get unlimited amends to your documents – we won’t stop until you’re happy with them!

Why not kick-start your job search today with a free CV review?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *