Watch out for CV errors

Posted on Thursday, March 28, 2019 by Jess CarterNo comments

Heard the one about the candidate who put "I'm looking manly for an IT role,'" on his (or maybe her) CV?

What about the CV that boasted the applicant was "a director with strong breath"?

These are just two of the CV mistakes that turned up in a new survey of 500 CVs by Corinne Mills, career coach and author of ‘You’re Hired! How to write a brilliant CV’.

One CV claimed that the candidate had been, “Responsible for drug abuse, alcohol and antisocial behaviour” and another stated proudly, “I don't consummate alcohol”.

All very hilarious - but when they have finished laughing at these CV errors, most potential hirers would likely file the offending application in the bin. Many personnel directors have told me that errors on CVs are the number one reason why they discard candidates' applications.

The survey found that 98 per cent of the CVs examined had spelling mistakes, grammatical errors or poor presentation. It was not confined to the junior applicants - chief executives, professionals and recent graduates drafted over half of the CVs. ?

So, if you don't want to doom your application to failure from the word go, here are a few tips:

  • Check for spelling mistakes.  Don’t just rely on your spellchecker – for instance, it will not highlight the misspelling of pubic as public.  Get at least one other person, preferably more, to check too.
  • Ask someone to read your CV for sense and accuracy.  It’s all too easy to end up like the candidate whose CV said, “My top five clients in the past year have been…” and then list eight clients.
  • Watch out for jargon.  This is especially important for ex-forces personnel.  We know what we mean by military terms and acronyms but most hiring managers will not.  When you use military job titles, make sure you include a brief explanation of what the job involves.
  • If you are asked to include a picture, choose one that looks professional – not a holiday snap.
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