7 CV Myths and Misconceptions debunked! - CV Plaza

7 CV Myths debunked

Myth Stamp

CV Myth #1: A CV should never be longer than two pages in length

Fact: A CV doesn’t have a set length.

Whoever says that a CV can’t be 1 or 3 pages long is wrong because the length of a CV is dependent on the circumstances of the applicant and the type of job one is applying for.

As a general rule of thumb: your CV should not be longer than two A4 pages.


CV Myth #2: References are a must on a CV

Fact: Although it may be useful to include your references on your CV, it is definitely not a must to do so.

In fact, we – among many other career experts – advice the opposite.

A single line of ‘available upon request’ is sufficient.


CV Myth #3: You need to have excellent education before you can apply for a job

Fact: This is completely wrong!

Education is not a must in all jobs; it might be constructive in most of the jobs, but there are hundreds of kinds of jobs out there that are more related to your practical skills and work experience rather than your education!

In fact, if you have a solid background in a particular industry (e.g. customer services or sales), the employer will probably not even look at your education.

If you have got an excellent education, great!

If you haven’t, don’t be afraid to apply for jobs – just put more emphasis on your work experience, skills and personal attributes rather than your education.


CV Myth #4: Many jobs do not require a CV

Fact: it is true that a job at your aunt’s antique shop might not require a CV; however it is a huge proclamation – bordering on lying – to claim that many jobs do not require CVs.

One of the few exceptions that we found of jobs where a formal CV was not required was for a non-permanent part-time job as a CD packer in a warehouse.  Needless to say, their customer service and employee satisfaction surveys were rock bottom.

Aside from these types of jobs, the vast majority of the jobs still require the applicants to submit a CV. Whether it is in the technical, sales, construction, or any other industry sector, for that matter! Application forms have not yet replaced the need for CVs.


CV Myth #5: A CV is a summary of your life to date

Fact: Nobody, besides our good old mothers, are interested in our wonderful journey from our birth up until today.

What employers are looking for is whether you are a suitable candidate for the job you are applying for. How can you show that you are a viable candidate for the job?

  • List down your relevant education and work experience on your CV
  • Demonstrate that you have the appropriate attitude and skills to do the job well

Note that we emphasised ‘relevance’ and ‘appropriateness’ which should be a clear signal to you not to write your life story. Only pick out relevant, important and significant experiences of your life to date and list them down.


CV Myth #6: Without telling lies on your CV… You won’t get far!

Fact: I would rephrase that to: with telling lies on your CV… you won’t get far!

We have already discussed the implications of lying on a CV.

What we will tackle now is the hidden message behind this myth which basically says: ‘you are never good enough to get a job if you are truthful.’

The reality of the matter is that millions of applicants have the right attitude, skills, education and work experience to get a job and do well in their job. So, why don’t they get the job? That is because they do not put enough work, consideration and effort into presenting all their good attributes on their CVs.

They don’t know how the sell themselves! (Or ‘market themselves’ if you prefer).


CV Myth #7: The more jobs I include in my CV, the better

Fact: If you decide to include all the jobs that you had since you left primary school you are pretty much going to end up shooting yourself in the foot. Having many jobs on your CV might tell a potential employer that you are…

  • A job-hopper (going from job to job, 24/7)
  • Can’t settle down in one place
  • Can’t make up your mind on what you want
  • Not committed
  • Not worth employing (you might run away again!)

Best practise: only include a few related jobs and work experiences, and skip the rest.