Article by Doris Eichlberger


Curriculum vitae mistakes: Which advice you can safely forget

Your resume, also known as your curriculum vitae (CV), is the critical document for your professional career. It represents your qualifications, experience and personality to potential employers. Thus, a well-designed CV can open doors to exciting career opportunities for you, while a poorly structured or misleading resume can jeopardize your success. Unfortunately, some resume design tips circulate that do more harm than good. In this article, we'll look at the four most pointless and worst CV tips that you should avoid at all costs.


What should my CV look like?

We've already shown you what the perfect CV looks like with our checklist of the 10 must-haves for your resume. However, there are also supposedly helpful tips circulating on the internet that you'd better not take to heart when applying for a job. Here are our top 4 dumbest and worst CV tips ever:


Anti-tip 1: Omit the month information

A common misconception is that omitting the months from your resume can camouflage short periods of employment. For example, a job that lasted only from December 2022 to February 2023 can be presented as 2022-2023, and thus three months would become a supposed year. The idea behind this is not to present oneself as a job hopper to employers by using this trick.


Why is this tip bad?   

  • For one thing, companies are very likely to see through this scam. If they come across a resume that doesn't specify months, it immediately raises suspicion. It might give the impression that you're trying to hide something, damaging your trustworthiness. 
  • Second: Even if you are lucky and get away with it, at the latest during the interview you might be asked for the exact dates of your activities. This could put you in an embarrassing situation.

How to do it better? 


The better alternative is to be honest. If you really only worked for a company for a short period of time, then reflect this in your resume. At the same time, you should also explain the reasons for the short period. Perhaps you completed a project, had a special experience or developed yourself further? Honesty pays off in the long run. 

Anti-Tip 2: Group your jobs together

Again, this is about the problem of job hopping and having jobs that are too short in terms of time. There is a tip circulating to combine several similar positions in your resume to give the impression that you did this job in the same company during this period. For example, you worked as a marketing manager at company x from February 2020 to March 2021, and in the same role at company y from April 2021 to April 2022. In your CV you would then state "Marketing Manager, February 2020 to April 2022". In this way, as with tip 1, you are faking the duration of your employment relationships.

Why is this tip bad?  

  • First of all, you deprive yourself of the opportunity to present to the company your specific skills, experience and achievements that you have acquired in the various positions. Important (positive) details of your professional development will be lost.  
  • Furthermore, you will be exposed again at the latest in the job interview. Your interviewer will ask you for details about the company and your activities, and you might get caught up in contradictions. 

How to do it better? 


Be proud of your professional experience and also list your different positions separately. List your areas of responsibility per position and emphasize what you have accomplished in each of these roles. This shows that you have a wide range of experience and skills and are able to adapt in different environments. 

Anti-tip 3: Keep your resume neutral to fit as many companies as possible

Another common misconception about resume design is that your resume should be as neutral as possible in order to be suitable for many different companies. 

Why is this tip bad?  

A neutral and impersonal resume can cause you to get lost in the crowd. Employers are often looking for candidates who not only have the necessary skills and qualifications for the position they are looking for, but also show enthusiasm for the industry and fit with the company. 

How to do it better?


Your resume may reflect your personality and interests - especially if they match the company. For example, if you're applying to work as an accountant at a theater, it can be very helpful if you list your cultural interest and enthusiasm for theater among your hobbies and interests. Or if you want to work as a controller at a medical company, feel free to include your volunteer work with the Red Cross in your CV. These details can take you a long way in the application process - but they should always be true.

Anti-tip 4: Make your resume as long as possible

A common myth is that a long CV looks more impressive and offers more chances of getting an interview. Therefore, some applicants tend to overload their CV with irrelevant information in order to increase its length.

Why is this tip bad?  

A long CV can be off-putting and thus lose the attention of its reader. Moreover, if you add too many unimportant details, relevant information can get lost.

How to do it better?


It's important to focus on relevant qualifications, experience and achievements. A concise and informative resume that is tailored to what companies are looking for is far more effective than a bloated resume. 

Our conclusion: Beware of supposedly helpful CV tips!

Schulmeister Recruiting Personalvermittlung junior Personalberaterin sympathisch Lilly

Make your resume honest, compact and tailored to the company

A well-designed CV should be honest, detailed but compact, personal, and tailored to the company you are targeting. By avoiding these bad CV tips, you'll increase your chances of a successful application process and getting into your dream career. 

Are you currently looking for a job? Then send us your CV or check out our current job openings! We look forward to hearing from you! 



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