7 ways your CV can cost you that engineering interview.

Published on: 25 May 2018

When engineering candidates are applying for a new role, they hope to be judged on their abilities; but what if your application is a mess? Might an employer assume – rightly or wrongly – that this says a lot about your general approach?

Don’t give a new company the opportunity to pass your application over. By eradicating these seven common CV mistakes, you can make yourself a more desirable candidate:

CV not tailored

Each time you apply for a new job, you need to rewrite your CV to focus on the parts of your education and working life that reflect the recruiter’s requirements. A generic CV that doesn’t answer the job description is hardly going to make you stand out.

Lack of personal statement

It doesn’t have to be lengthy but a brief passage - of just two paragraphs summing up your personal outlook and aspirations for the role - is something an increasing number of employers are looking for.


If it’s more than two A4 pages, your CV is too long – and don’t try and cram lots of information onto the page to compensate; instead be judicious and edit well (which brings us on to…)

Poor formatting

Make sure your CV isn’t a horror. Ditch that esoteric font. And don’t compound your original error by making the text small and cramming the page with lots of fiddly sections. Keep it simple. A personal statement, a section on your work experience, then education – and all in a regular font (Times New Roman or Calibri) in size 11 or 12.

Wrong emphasis

If the role requires lots of qualifications it makes sense to gear your CV to feature more on education, but if experience is more important for the post, then why spend a page detailing the exams you’ve taken? That project leader role is as much about team skills as certificates, so draw emphasis to these aspects and cut down on less vital elements.

Unexplained gaps

Gaps on a CV standout; so, if they are unavoidable, you need to explain all about them in your covering letter. Don’t leave a potential employer scratching their head over what you did for 18 months after leaving university.


Nothing puts a potential employer off a CV more than sloppiness. This is your one and only opportunity to sell yourself; and you don’t want to send out a message of disorder because of a series of typos, or spelling and grammatical errors that could have been avoided by more thorough checking.