Five mistakes to avoid on a student CV

Between 30 and 50 seconds: this is the average time a recruiter spends reading a CV. This shows the importance of highlighting the key elements of your career path, and above all of avoiding certain errors that could be fatal to you in your search for a job or internship.

Are you a student and want to apply for a summer job, an end-of-year internship or your first job? So take the time to write your cover letter and your curriculum vitaeand above all, be careful not to make these five mistakes on your student CV.

Do not put a title on your CV

First mistake not to commit, the absence of a title. Indeed, the recruiter must know at a glance which position you are applying for. Avoid boat titles such as “CV” or ” Curriculum vitae “. The recruiter knows what a CV looks like, but what he wants to know is who he is dealing with. So be precise and concise, and put in the title the name of the position you are applying for.

A poorly presented and incomplete CV

The general presentation of your student CV matters a lot to a recruiter. One resume badly presented, whether in its form or in its substance, will be quickly discarded. So take the time to look at models on the Internet, to ask your parents or people you know who work in business for advice. An outside perspective is sometimes very useful to highlight the aspects to be reworked on your student CV.

Focus especially on the following points:

  • Value your experiences or skills: even if, as a student, you don’t necessarily have a lot of professional experience to your credit, don’t devalue yourself and don’t leave blanks. You can highlight the skills acquired during your studies, or your odd jobs. If your experiences do not correspond to the position for which you are applying, try to identify qualities and skills that meet the criteria of the position. You really have to adapt as much as possible to the offer, to the school or to the traineeship to which you are applying;
  • Don’t fall into the trap of over-information: when you have little experience, you tend to embroider to fill out your student CV as much as possible. And this is a mistake to be avoided at all costs. There is no point in drowning the recruiter in too much useless information. Focus instead on completed missions, what it brought you and what is useful for the coveted offer. Also avoid lying on your CV by inventing responsibilities or skills. This will inevitably be felt at some point, whether during an interview or once in post;
  • Don’t use a list of buzzwords or overly technical terms: it’s good to highlight your technical skills, but there’s no point in listing a lot of technical terms in a student CV. Stay concise and precise, so that the recruiter retains important information from your background;
  • Air your CV: a page full of information can sometimes lose your reader and make your CV incomprehensible. Try to work in blocks, putting the most important information at the top of your student CV. Your CV must fit on one page, and must allow the recruiter to have a sort of identity card of your background. And above all, present your experiences backwards, so that the recruiter sees your most recent experiences first.
  • Do not put too much personal information: in the first part of your CV, devoted to the personal presentation, limit yourself to key information, namely first name, last name, address, telephone number and email to contact you. You can add your age if you want, but don’t include your date of birth, your astrological sign or your social security number! You can specify if you have the B license or other if it is important for the coveted offer but there is nothing obligatory in the matter.

An unprofessional photo

If the photo is a non-mandatory element on a student CV, choose it well if you decide to put it. Indeed, avoid a photo where you are in the evening or in beachwear. Choose a photo taken in a professional setting or go for one in a serious outfit. This may seem like a detail, but it will be important if you are competing with equivalent CVs.

Spelling mistakes

If the recruiter sees above all the form of your CV, he will quickly take a look at the substance. And the presence of spelling errors will clearly be prohibitive. So take the time to proofread yourself and have yourself proofread before sending your document. You can also use online spell checkers that will help you catch the biggest mistakes in your student CV.

Hobbies that are too vague or too controversial

If you decide to add a leisure section to your student CV, be careful not to be too general or too honest! Indeed, if you indicate cinema, sports and music, be aware that many other candidates may have put the same thing. However, you must stand out from other candidates thanks to your CV. So specify which period you like, which directors or actors and actresses, which sports, if you have practiced in a club, what it brings you… Ditto for music, specify your tastes, if you play an instrument, if you be part of a group… And above all try to bring out what it has brought you and who could be suitable for the coveted position. Always try to link. On the other hand, avoid more controversial hobbies such as hunting or bullfighting, which could offend some recruiters.


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