The CV is the jobseeker\u2019s most powerful weapon when applying for their dream job. Recently, my friends discovered what I do for a living in HR, and as you may have guessed, I have been checking one too many CVs lately. Drawing on that experience, here are 8 useful tips on what not to do when writing a CV. 1. Learn the Applicant Tracking System In any given stack of 5 CVs, at least one will be rejected due to a lack of proper keywords, phrases, and content that the Applicant Tracking System is told to look for. I never even get to see it. The second will usually get rejected because there is a bad match between the job requirements and the applicants\u2019 skills, knowledge and experience. The third will go in the \u201cmaybe\u201d pile on the left. That\u2019s the backup pile. The fourth and fifth will go into the \u201cinterview\u201d pile on the right. To even get a shot at the interview pile, you\u2019ll have to learn how to \u2018game\u2019 the applicant tracking system. To do this, carefully read the job description of the job you\u2019re applying to and change your keywords in your CV to match the keywords in the job description. For example, if you studied Economics, but you\u2019re applying for a job in Sales, you need to ditch difficult words like \u201cmacroeconomic theory\u201d and take up words like \u201cpipeline\u201d, \u201cconversion\u201d, and \u201csales volume\u201d. 2. It\u2019s not necessary to include your photo Unless you are asked for a photo, it\u2019s best not to include one. You are supposed to get the job based on your abilities, skills, and knowledge, not how cute your smile is, after all. If you are going to include one because it is requested, then please be professional: Dress in work clothes (a blazer is optional), don\u2019t smile, and for crying out loud, make sure your eyes are open. A picture of yourself with a Nerf blaster cocked in one hand is going to raise HR\u2019s eyebrows and lower their first impression of you. 3. Get a professional-sounding email account Sure, I\u2019ve had my fair share of childish, joking, email accounts. One of my cousins has had the following email accounts \u201cblardyfool1@hotmail,\u201d \u201ckool_fool_45@gmail\u201d, and most recently \u201caudiophile469@gmail.\u201d He didn't understand why I kept jokingly calling him a \u201cpedo\u201d until I explained things to him. \u201cPedophile, audiophile, sound the same don\u2019t they?\u201d That look on his face when realization dawned was priceless and meme-worthy. I wish I had taken a picture when he understood why he never heard back from any employer. I think he had sent about 100 job applications since he earned his Masters Degree. Kesiannya. Some employers in Malaysia have no idea what an \u201caudiophile\u201d actually is. So please get yourself a respectable email address, and keep the username professional: Write your name, and add numerals if its already taken. Using your year of birth is generally a safe bet, and don't reference anything controversial. For example, mine would be something like firstname.lastname@example.org, (that\u2019s not my real email by the way.) 4. Your Resume is Riddled with Typos Your CV represents \u201cyou\u201d on paper. How much attention goes into that CV is how much HR will use to judge you as a candidate. One small typo isn\u2019t necessarily a deal-breaker. However, a resume peppered with typos and grammatical errors will be. Why? Because typos say a lot about a candidate\u2019s attention to detail and written communication: You don\u2019t have either. Some of the best deal breakers I ever read include these gems: \u201cI am qiuck lerner, who is native bilingual in three language.\u201d \u201cGreatest player for team I am.\u201d (for Team Yoda in Star Wars maybe.) And my personal favorite: \u201cI am an editorial perfectionist with a keen i for detail.\u201d 5. Eye-Damaging Formatting Whether its game designer, creative director, doctor or accountant, make sure your formatting is on point. A badly-formatted resume has almost no chance. Bad formatting is the other major pitfall of otherwise decent CV, next to glaring typos. Even if you work for a creative agency, keep the CV clean, professional and easy to follow. Microsoft Word comes with good basic templates for a CV. You can personalize your CV on websites like Wix or Canva, which let you play with visual elements, move them around, and arrange your CV in the most aesthetic way possible. 6. Employment History Issues Your employment history should be presented with the most recent first, and work your way backward. This allows HR to get a clear picture of your career, how you\u2019ve grown and progressed over time. Make sure that the dates (month and year) match up correctly. When those dates overlap significantly or have long gaps between them, HR will notice. This may or may not be a red flag. Short gaps (a month or two) are generally ok, but be prepared to answer why during the interview. If there is a genuine reason for the said gap, consider addressing it in your cover letter. 7. Cut to the Chase If you\u2019re going for an intro paragraph or mission statement, three lines or a few short sentences will suffice. Mine looks like this: \u201cTo create engaging written content that aids companies in educating, informing, and entertaining readers that converts them into paying customers.\u201d HR will spend a maximum of 10 seconds on that first reading of your CV, so make the relevant info easy to access. Don\u2019t put a whole essay at the top of your CV - it will get shoved to the bottom of the pile for later reading and promptly be forgotten. The best ones are always targeted to the position you are applying for, with the keywords attached. 8. Those really weird hobbies. Your hobbies and interests should help round out your character, and present you as a well-balanced, wholesome individual. Not some closeted serial-killer in training. As the guy who loves waving a giant glow stick and calling it a lightsaber, I am the last person to throw stones about weird hobbies. (Disclaimer: No, I have never tried to force choke my boss, co-worker or fellow employee on the Death Star.) But there is a difference between my nerdy hobbies and \u201can interest in firearms,\u201d \u201ccollecting navel fluff,\u201d and \u201cextreme ironing.\u201d Yes, those last two are apparently actual hobbies. Acceptable hobbies can be anything that falls within the normal range of expectations for the company you want to work for. Yoga, hiking, cooking, football, salsa dancing - these are some examples. It also helps if your hobbies are related to the job you are applying for. If you are applying to be a game developer, then gaming should be on the hobby list; if you are applying for a copywriter position, then \u201ccreative writing\u201d would be good hobby to have. This one\u2019s extra: How do I contact you?! You have relevant experience. You show an amazing list of accomplishments. You have the right skills, education. HR wants to call to give you the job after a pro forma interview, and\u2026 there is no contact information on the resume. This is how you break an HR department employee. You would be amazed and saddened by how often this occurs. Here\u2019s hoping that if I see your CV, you will be one of the Chosen Ones\u2026 You did include your contact info, right? Do you have any stories about CV mistakes you\u2019ve made in the past? Let us know in the comments! For more articles about the job hunt, read Malaysian Job Interviews: Are You Making These 4 Mistakes? (Advice from a HR officer) and I Still Haven\u2019t Found a Job for the past 6 Months \u2013 What Should I Do?