Curriculum Vitae Mistakes to Avoid

Although CVs can be different from one to another, there are some common mistakes to avoid. Avoiding these mistakes will help you submit the best CV possible.

  • Using Curriculum Vitae or CV as a heading

    This wastes valuable space. It is obvious that the document is a CV. Your name at the top in bold letters is more appropriate.
  • Inaccurate contact information

    Keep contact information on your CV up to date. Do not use old phone numbers or email addresses. Also make sure to only list out contact information you are comfortable being contacted at.
  • Unprofessional e-mail addresses

    Make sure that you are not using an email address that is unprofessional, such as This email address may be funny for personal use or to your colleagues but will not be impressive to potential employers. Many websites will allow you to create a free email address, so opt for one like first initial last name.
  • Overuse of capitalization

    In the internet age many perceive all caps as yelling or shouting. Your CV should not be perceived this way. You also want to make sure that you are capitalizing names and words that should be capitalized.
  • Printing your CV on poor quality paper or sending photocopies

    Having your CV printed on low quality paper or photocopied will send the message that you are not trying to make the best possible impression. A photocopied version of your CV may look close to an original printing, but you run the risk of the CV not copying correctly as well as black dots or lines appearing from the copier. Using low quality paper can also result in not being able to read your CV well. If the paper easily rips, tears, or is see-through it may be difficult for a potential employer to read your CV.
  • Relying solely on your computer's spell check

    Spell check is a great way to pick up some misspelled words, but a word may be spelled correctly but used in the wrong context (e.g., 'here' and 'hear' or 'to' and 'two'). Make sure to also read your CV or have another set of eyes on your CV to pick up spelling errors missed by the computer.
  • Using fancy fonts, formats, colors, and graphics

    These can make your CV more difficult to read. Keep in mind that your CV will be one of many read by a potential employer or scanned into a computer system. If your CV is hard to read it can create a bad impression.
  • Including non-relevant personal information

    Date or place of birth, gender, race, religion, marital status, family, sexual orientation, and political affiliation have no bearing on your clinical capabilities and should not be included. Your CV should only contain information pertinent to the opportunity.
  • Listing identifying information such as license numbers, DEA numbers, and social security numbers

    With the increasing prevalence of identity theft, it is important to safeguard this information.
  • Forgetting to add page numbers

    Pages of your CV may be separated by accident. Including page numbers on your CV in the "last name, page number" format will help ensure that your CV is read in the correct order and not mistaken for someone else's.

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