career-advice

8 Inconsistencies That Will Break Your CV

Matt Glodz
8 Inconsistencies That Will Break Your CV

Inconsistencies on Your CV Tell Recruiters You Lack of Attention to Detail

You know that sometimes the small things make the biggest impact.

Whether it's making sure your suit fits well or your shoes are clean and polished before heading to an interview, there's no denying that first impressions count.

An interviewer may not think twice about the fact that you wore a perfectly fitting suit or took the time to shine your shoes.

However, they'll most definitely notice if you walk into the room looking sloppy. 

The same principles apply to your job application materials: you need to pay attention to the smallest details.

It can be hard for recruiters to narrow down a pile of 100+ CVs into the 10-15 applicants who will be invited for an interview. 

As a result, the CV screening process can turn into an exercise of looking for any reason to say "no."

Before you press send, review this checklist of common CV inconsistencies to ensure they don't appear on yours.

1. Conflicting Information

You cannot have any conflicting information on your CV.

All of the information on your CV, such as dates and job titles, needs to align with the information you present on other platforms such as LinkedIn.

Once you land the interview, make sure that you don't reveal any information that conflicts with what you have listed on your CV or LinkedIn profile.

If you do, you could raise red flags regarding your truthfulness and the validity of the information. 

To prevent such mishaps, be sure to know the contents of your CV inside out before walking into an interview.

2. Different Fonts and Font Sizes

All section headings should be written using the same font and font size, as should all bullet points.

We don't recommend using more than two fonts on your CV.

When copy and pasting text from other documents, be sure to "paste as text" so that you do not accidentally bring in different formatting.

3. Mixed Up Verb Tenses

Your bullet points for your current position should generally be written in the present tense

Your bullet points for your previous roles and those describing completed projects in your current role should be in the past tense.

4. Incorrect Capitalisation and Punctuation

Be sure to stick to traditional capitalisation and punctuation conventions.

Take time to ensure that your grammar is 100% correct.

If you know that grammar isn't your forte, consider using a CV editing service.

5. Confusing Sentence Structure

You should start each bullet point with an action verb.

By doing so, you'll naturally utilise parallel phrasing, which is not only grammatically correct but also makes your CV easier to read.

Avoid any long, complicated sentences that may confuse your reader.

6. Inconsistent Margins and Spacing

Your spacing between sections should be exactly the same

If your CV is more than one page, your margins on both pages should be equal.

To ensure that your text is perfectly aligned, use tab stops instead of manually inserting spaces.

7. Varying Date Format

You should provide both the months and years that you worked in each role whenever possible.

Be sure to consistently spell out or abbreviate all months and use the same date format throughout your document. 

If you are worried about including dates from earlier roles because of potential age discrimination, we recommend leaving those roles off of your CV altogether.

Alternatively, you can put them into an Early Career section that doesn't include detailed date information. 

Do not falsify information to cover up an employment gap, for example, as a potential employer may reach out for references.

8. Multiple Colours

All your body text should be written in the same colour: black. 

Remember that your CV should convey a highly-professional image. 

You should not use excessive colours or graphics to help you stand out, as these often have the opposite effect.

If you choose to use an accent colour, be sure to apply it sparingly and uniformly.

In Summary

Especially in a challenging job market, attention to detail matters.

Ultimately, following the tips above will help make your CV easier to read and ensure it aligns with the expectations of executive recruiters, helping you land more interviews.


About CV Pilots

CV Pilots is an award-winning executive CV writing, career coaching and outplacement firm. Our previous clients include CEOs and senior executives at the world's leading companies.

Here's how we can help you:

CV, Cover Letter and LinkedIn Writing: After a one-hour phone consultation, one of our expert writers will prepare your top-quality personal marketing materials from scratch. 

CV Content Review & CV Editing: A professional pair of eyes will look over your existing CV to catch any errors and advise on areas of improvement.

Career Transitions: A powerful combination of our document writing and career coaching services helps position you to secure a new role.

To learn more, book an introductory call here or email team@cvpilots.co.uk.

We're a proud member of the Professional Association of Resume Writers and Career Coaches. All of our writers have studied at top-tier universities and have solid industry experience.


About the AuthorMatt Glodz


Matt Glodz is the Founder and Managing Partner of CV Pilots and a Certified Professional Resume Writer.

Based in London, he currently works with applicants ranging from CEOs to recent graduates and has been writing CVs for over eight years.

At CV Pilots, Matt combines his solid business and writing background to craft CVs that give his clients the best chance of landing interviews. He has lived in the UK, US and Italy.



Related Articles

Beginner's Guide to LinkedIn: Best Practices for 2021
If you’re just getting started on LinkedIn or want a refresher on how to get the most out of the platform, look no further! This guide outlines everything you need to know to create a professional profile that is well-written and optimised.
Read More
Resources: LinkedIn & Interview Tips
Our LinkedIn & interview tips will help you create and optimise your LinkedIn profile and strategically prepare for interviews. You'll also learn about the latest recruitment trends that affect you as an applicant.
Read More