Top CV mistakes to avoid

Top CV mistakes to avoid

Writing and maintaining a good pharmaceutical CV is one of a candidate's top priorities if they are to secure the job they want in a competitive employment market.

Your CV is an employer's guide to your abilities, showing how you satisfy the requirements of the job. Making sure it does not contain any mistakes is of paramount importance to ensure you do not fall at the first hurdle.

Many applications contain errors and fail to give employers a good first impression - but fortunately, these mistakes can easily be rectified. Here is our guide to common CV mistakes and how to avoid them. 

Poor spelling and grammar

Accurate spelling and grammar is an essential part of a good application, yet this basic point is often overlooked by candidates trying to craft the perfect CV.

This may seem hard to believe - after all, we all use word processors nowadays, and most programmes include sophisticated software that will correct any mistakes in documents.

Overreliance on a spelling and grammar checker can cause problems, however, as it is not a failsafe method of eliminating errors. Words may be spelt correctly but used in the wrong context, for example, and this can harm an otherwise impressive application.

Always make sure you read through your CV to ensure you pick up on errors that may have gone undetected by the spellchecker. Also, make sure you've capitalised letters in the right places - small details like this can be important.

Too much personal information

Your pharmaceutical CV should be clear and concise, containing the information most relevant to your application. 

Some candidates include too much personal information, which can harm their prospects. This can include photographs, details of their religion, date of birth, place of birth and passport numbers, and personal opinions or quotes.

If you want to ensure your application has the best chance of success, make sure you stick to the facts, including your educational qualifications, companies you've worked for, job titles, dates employed and reasons for leaving a position.

It's perfectly acceptable to include information on hobbies and interests, but make sure this is kept to a minimum to conserve valuable space.

Generic CVs

Most people will have a generic CV template stored on their computer, which saves them time and energy when they are applying for jobs - writing a CV from scratch every time would be an arduous task, after all!

However, it's important to avoid using a generic CV for every role you apply for. Employers want to know what qualities you have that will ensure you succeed in the position for which they are recruiting.

This is an important point: research conducted by the National Careers Service revealed two-thirds of employers say generic CVs are the main issue preventing people from being invited to an interview.

Make sure you alter your CV each time you apply for a new role, tailoring it to the requirements of the job description.

If you are applying for a role that asks if you can use a specific IT system, or have knowledge of a particular drug or therapy area, or whether you can perform certain tasks, make sure you include these aptitudes on your CV.

Overlong CVs

While it's important to demonstrate you are a capable candidate, going into too much detail and writing an overlong CV can also be a problem.

Sometimes, for example, candidates include a long list of their publications and courses they've attended, even though they only have a short employment history. 

While it's not necessarily a problem to submit a CV longer than two pages, avoid going into too much detail as recruiters' time is often limited. 

Rather than writing in long paragraphs, which can be difficult to read quickly, it's often a good idea to condense the relevant information into bullet points to make the best possible use of the space available.


Avoiding these common mistakes will help you stand out from the crowd and ensure you have the best chance of making a good impression on your employer. If you want to secure that all-important interview, the first step on the road is a concise, accurate and well-tailored CV.