UK jobseekers are missing out on their dream job because of easily avoided CV blunders.
Research has shown that badly presented and written CVs are more of a turn-off to almost three quarters (73%) of employers than a candidate showing up late, wearing inappropriate clothes or swearing in an interview.
This is according to a poll of employers conducted by fish4jobs, the UK’s leading recruitment website, and based on an analysis of thousands of CVs in the fish4 archive.
The most irritating mistakes for employers were in many cases the most easily avoided.
These include misspelling key details such as the employer’s (and even the candidate’s) name or job title (reported by 67% of recruiters), grammatical errors (89%) and including irrelevant information (65%).
An additional 63% reported seeing inappropriate personal email addresses – for example, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org and mailto:email@example.com.
Just one misplaced letter can make a huge difference to a candidate’s career prospects. fish4jobs has identified some of the most common errors that CVs are likely to contain:
Candidates claiming to have “worked in a busty office”
People looking for “a job as a manger”
Jobseekers after a position in “pubic relations”
Candidates are also likely to shoot themselves in the foot when it comes to qualifications and skills –
Many “have been trained in fist aid” rather than first aid.
Candidates often claim to be “a good leeder”
And it seems they still needed to practice their spelling skills even though:
Candidates “attended collage”
Or went to “a very good skool”
To help save more CVs from being binned because of silly slip-ups, fish4jobs has compiled a helpful guide highlighting the top five tips to avoid the potential pitfalls for the UK’s jobseekers.
Typos – print the document out and proof-read it slowly – and remember: running a spell check won’t pick up mistakes such as “I worked as a manger”. Reading it out loud also helps
Inappropriate email addresses – what may have seemed a funny or inventive email address when you thought it up will probably look unprofessional to a prospective employer. Don’t fall into the same trap – go to Hotmail or GoogleMail and set up a new, free email account
Inappropriate interests or descriptions – no employer is interested in knowing that your friends describe you as ‘gobby’ or that your interests include “going to the pub” and “gossiping” – if in doubt about its relevance – leave it out!
Hard to read – garish colours, messy layout, too long – will go straight in the bin. If you want your CV to stand out, keep it brief, stick to facts and put the qualifications and experience that you’re proud of nearest the top
Don’t fall at the last hurdle! – It’s easy to miss mistakes when you’ve read something several times – get a friend to look at it carefully with a fresh pair of eyes, and ask them to tell you honestly if they think it’s too wordy, confusing or if they spot any errors.
fish4jobs.co.uk also includes a CV checker service that can help applicants fine-tune their job applications.
Joe Slavin, chief executive, at fish4jobs comments, “Every recruiter I speak to has anecdotes about the embarrassing mistakes that people don’t spot in their CVs. Although many of these mistakes seem quite obvious with hindsight, they are very easy to make. Just one error can mean the difference between being invited to an interview and losing several opportunities. Candidates can find a host of useful tips – including CV writing and interview techniques – on the fish4jobs website.”