Common Mistakes to Avoid in a CV


Mrunmayai Bobade
Updated on May 13, 2022 03:36 PM IST

Your Curriculum Vitae (CV) or resume is one of the most crucial documents that can make or break your first impression in front of the Admissions Committee. Creating an impressive CV is of utmost importance and here are some common mistakes to avoid while drafting a resume for studying abroad.

Study Abroad Application: Common Mistakes to Avoid in CV

We already know that a plethora of documents is required during the application process for study abroad. Among these documents, the Curriculum Vitae (CV) forms an integral aspect of your applicant profile. An academic CV is a document that summarises all the information related to your academic and professional background. Making a strong first impression can be a bit difficult, but not impossible. The Admissions Committee (AdCom) takes only a minute to go through the resume and look for the decision-making factor. So, a simple mistake or any error in your resume can add to a list of reasons for rejection.

Therefore, candidates who are planning to study abroad need to be careful while drafting their resumes. An impressive CV can do wonders and enhance your chances of getting selected by the Admissions Committee. On the other hand, a CV with unwanted information, poor formatting, and spelling or grammar errors can make it undesirable and create a poor impression. So, to make an impact on AdCom, students should prepare a flawless resume.

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Common Mistakes To Avoid in a Student CV

Each and every document, including a resume, sent for university application, represents the candidate. An academic CV with no to fewer mistakes will definitely help the candidate to achieve their goal to get admission to their desired university. However, sometimes students fail to rectify some common mistakes that can heavily impact their impression before the AdCom. Given below is a list of such common mistakes that we make in our CV and ways to avoid them:

Spelling Mistakes and Grammatical Errors

Spelling and grammatical errors are the most common mistakes in a CV. These mistakes can leave a poor impression on the reader. To avoid this, one should proofread all the contents of the draft carefully and get rid of all the errors. A simple yet precise and error-free resume can make you look professional and create a better impression.

Wrong Contact Details

The key is to keep an eye on the small details. People often tend to concentrate so much on the bigger picture that they miss out on little details like the correct contact details. Some students even miss out on a hyphen or dot in the email address. So when this happens, the authorities will be unable to contact you even if you are the best fit for the role.

Inappropriate Email Address

A CV is a formal document. Any mention of an inappropriate email address can instantly make you look like an unprofessional candidate. It derails your application and overshadows all other good aspects of your resume. A professional email address should include your full name with other punctuations if necessary.

Poor Formatting

The format is the first thing everyone notices. If it is not formatted professionally, it will reflect poorly on you. So, use a proper layout. If something is formatted badly, or the candidate does not express themselves efficiently in the first few lines of the CV, it derails you as an applicant.

Using Slangs or Informal Language

Another mistake that students commonly commit is using informal language or millennial slang. An informal language can make you look unprofessional and cost you the place. To avoid this, proofread the document multiple times and make sure the course of language is flowing and professional.

Using Strange Fonts

The use of proper fonts is the foremost thing to keep in mind. The font of the document, the layout, and the colours of the text are the most important things because they make a first impression on the reader's eye. The use of fonts and colour schemes that look professional is necessary. A good CV with a good colour scheme and good font can make a lasting first impression.

Including Unnecessary Information

A CV is a document that should be short and concise with all relevant information articulated in a precise manner. An elaborate resume with unnecessary details can shift the reader's focus from the important details. Information like your political or religious views, references, or the pictures and photos of the projects you worked on earlier are all considered unnecessary information.

Lying or Providing False Information

Lying is one thing you should avoid at all costs. A CV represents who you are as a person in real life and lying gives out a bad impression about your character. While it is important to be self-confident about what you can offer, it is not advisable to oversell yourself to an unrealistic extent.

Leaving Out Important Information

The resume should have all the required information like your contact details, details about your academic career and job experience, awards and achievements, etc. Leaving out any of this information can make it incomplete and difficult for AdCom to understand your profile holistically.

Tips To Write A Perfect CV for Admissions Abroad

The key is to make an impression at first sight. Your CV has to stand out in the bunch of thousands of applications. It may seem like a lot of work, but in reality, it is easy to make a good first impression by following some basic tips that give you a perfect resume. Here is a list of important and easy tips for a CV that will help you to create an impactful document:

  • Proofread your curriculum vitae multiple times before making a final copy.

  • Thoroughly check for grammatical or spelling errors.

  • The tone of your resume should be confident but not avoid overselling.

  • Be relevant and realistic about your experiences, learnings, and skills. It is an official document, so use only formal language throughout the draft.

  • Pay attention to the little things, such as correct contact information or email ID.

  • Keep it short, articulate, and precise.

  • Avoid adding unnecessary information.

  • Be creative in a way that makes you sound ambitious and creative.

  • Avoid using cliche words or phrases.

  • Your CV should not look like a copy of your SOP or Personal Statement.

  • Use the fonts and colour scheme that are appropriate for an official document.

  • Make sure to highlight all the training, certifications, and achievements in the CV.

  • Search for a complete guide to write a good CV.

  • Use adjectives like team-player, disciplined, or a self-starter to describe yourself.

These are just a few important tips to keep in mind while drafting your academic resume for top universities. At an individual level, you can avoid such mistakes, however, it is always a good idea to take help from experienced people. They can proofread your document and point out some details. Avoid sending your resume to too many people. Keep the circle of proofreaders short, take the help of grammar tools, and stay honest.

To get expert advice about writing a perfect CV and other application documents, contact our study abroad experts today. Write to us at

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