Talent Acquisition

10 CV Mistakes That Put Employers Off Your Candidates

If your candidate is applying for new opportunities, you need to see off their competition and show that they are the best person for the job. This starts with their CV.

Their CV is generally the first opportunity they get to make a great impression and to sell their skills and experience. If it doesn’t make an impact, you won’t secure that all-important interview for them.

One key thing that many job seekers neglect to think about when preparing their CV is what the client for each particular role wants to see. It’s easy to fire out a generic CV for every job, however tweaking their personal profile and tailoring their skills will significantly improve their chances.

How can you get them to think like you? Well, CV-Library have conducted some new research that will help them. Having spoken to 200 recruiters about their biggest pet peeves, they can now reveal exactly what is putting them off their candidates CV. Use this handy checklist for your candidates to check their CVs.

1. Spelling mistakes

This one is obvious, right? Well it’s a recruiter’s biggest pet peeve and you would be surprised by just how many CVs do have spelling and grammatical errors. Spelling mistakes are easy to fix, just ensure that your candidate proofreads their CV a few times and ask friends and family to check it too. It would be a real shame if avoidable mistakes cost them an interview.

2. Being massively under-qualified

If they don’t have some of the essential job requirements, tell them not to apply. It’s a waste of your time and it’s a waste of their time.

3. Lists of unrelated skills

The skills your candidate talks about on their CV should always be relevant to the role they are applying for. This is where tailoring comes in. For every role you should ensure your candidates are highlighting the skills it requires and remove any completely irrelevant skills or experience.

4. Too many jobs over a short time period

If your candidate has changed roles a lot, clients will suspect they’re just a job hopper. Their record suggests that they will shortly leave this role as well which may prevent them from being considered.

5. More than 2 pages

Your candidate’s CV should never need to be longer than 2 pages and long CVs are a big no-no.

6. Your picture

What your candidate looks like does not reflect their skills or how well they can do a role (unless they’re a model).

7. Buzzwords

Many job seekers use a lot of jargon and big words in an effort to sound professional. However, it’s important to remember that what you want to know is what they’ve done previously and what they will bring to your next role. Tell your candidates not to over-do it.

8. A CV that is ‘too creative’

Jazzy fonts, unusual layouts and lots of images is unlikely to impress you. If your candidate is going for a creative role, then they may want their CV to be more creative however it’s best they don’t do it at the cost of readability. Having a CV that is clear, concise and easy to read is always their best bet.

9. No cover letter when one is requested

Not submitting a cover letter when one is required may suggest that they are lazy, don’t care about the opportunity or have poor attention to detail. These are all damaging to their application, so tell them not to cut corners and be sure they submit a cover letter that will boost their application.

10. No social media presence

It’s general practice now for you to look candidates up online before progressing them to the next stage. While they will want to ensure their personal social media accounts are private, a completed, professional LinkedIn profile will help their application. Why not tell them to include a link to their profile on their CV?

This infographic by shows you what percentage of recruiters were put off by the 10 areas discussed above. If they can keep these areas in check, they’ll be inundated with interview invitations in no time!

About the author: Jennifer Tait is a Digital Marketer at Career Experts, a career site that exists to propel and support professionals on their path for career success.

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