How to ruin your CV and alienate employers

Alexander Tredwell – Leaders in Specialist Professional Recruitment

Recent research from our team of data scientists showed nearly a third of CVs in the UK contain at least one spelling mistake.

Of those containing errors, the highest number of slip-ups in a British CV was a whopping 23 mistakes, with “responsibility” named the most common misspelling.

Other top typos included “liaise”, “achieve” and “university”. “Communication”, “experience” and “management” also featured in the top 10 errors encountered.

Despite spelling errors being the most common mistakes seen in job applications, 30 per cent of CVs contained a gap in employment history, a notorious bugbear for recruiting managers. Lack of a personal summary, omission of a valid address and concerns over CV length rounded out the top five most common issues that crossed UK employers’ desks on a daily basis.

Far fewer British jobseekers made mistakes in 2017 with regards to email addresses or inappropriate file names compared to previous years, highlighting our nation’s digital development. Applicants in today’s internet age are three times more likely to omit or make an error in their postal address than in an email address or mobile number.

Just 135 of the CVs analysed fell victim to inappropriate file names, the lowest level of any type of error.

The first impression your new employer has of you is the humble CV, so spelling mistakes, inconsistent work histories and missing information are all huge red flags for hiring managers.

Candidates need to take extra care to show their best side to companies if they hope to make it to the interview stage. You should always be looking for new ways to help your profile stick in employers’ minds.

We’ve compiled five top tips to help you craft a superhero CV and make the best possible first impression.

Get down with the details

Your CV is the first glimpse of what working with you would be like – and you want it to be a great one. Make sure all those pesky mistakes are weeded out long before you press “apply here”.

Match your style to the role

Quirky, colourful CVs may tick all the boxes for hiring managers in the creative field, but look very out of place in a shortlist for corporate lawyers.

Cover letters that really cover it

Your CV is the window to your experience, but your cover letter, which should always be specially written for the role in question, can tell the full story. Use this to sell yourself as a good fit for the job and explain any gaps in your experience.

Know what you’re worth

Applying for that dream job is a serious business and deserves thorough research. We encourage all our jobseekers to run their CV through our ValueMyCV tool to help you get a handle on how much employers pay for your skill set.

Computer says yes

More recruiters and employers than we care to imagine rely on computer programmes to screen CVs for suitable candidates in the first instance. Online tools can help you see in advance which skills the recruitment robots are spotting in your CV – and make sure they are the ones that could land you on the shortlist!