Written by Dave Cullen
According to a study conducted by Marketing Professionals UK, half of all CVs contain typos and other simple mistakes. A similar survey by Eurobase People found that 6 out of 10 CVs from IT professionals included basic errors. Recruiters have zero tolerance for these easily avoidable blunders. Sloppy mistakes like poor grammar and punctuation immediately disqualify applicants from reaching the interview stage. These fatal flaws will immediately exclude you from further consideration by the hiring manager. Thankfully candidates can quickly improve their chances by carefully avoiding these 5 common CV mistakes.
- Poor spelling and grammar: Ensure that you proof read both your CV and cover letter before you send them. For recruiters and hiring managers, spelling errors are like a red rag to a bull. Often letting a second pair of eyes read through your CV can help to find mistakes you overlooked.
- Overly elaborate format and layout: Keep the font type consistent across the entire document. Avoid using inappropriate fonts, convoluted tables and misaligned paragraphs.
- Avoid writing in the first person: There is no need to use the world ‘I’ in your CV. The reader already knows that you are talking about yourself. Rather than saying: “I managed the telesales department and I oversaw implementation of new company-wide internal communications policies”, this sentence should read: “Managed the telesales department and oversaw implementation of new company-wide internal communications policies.”
- Incorrect order of information: Ensure that your CV conforms to the conventional structure of having a personal statement in the beginning, followed by a listing of your experience and qualifications. The most recent work experience should always be included at the start with your responsibilities listed in bullet points. For more information on writing your CV check out these blogs: 5 Tips for improving your CV and The Do’s and Don’ts of CV Writing.
- Mentioning unnecessary or negative information: Be sure to exclude extraneous information like your hobbies and interests, marital status, political views or religion. An employer is not interested in hearing this detail. You should also omit negative information like bad mouthing your former boss or elaborating on the reason why you are leaving your current job.
If 50% of candidates produce CVs with inexcusable and easily preventable mistakes, then placing yourself among the top 50% is only a matter of exercising rigorous attention to detail.