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Annie Hayes



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CV howlers leave candidates jobless


Jobseekers are missing out because of blunders such as misspelling, inappropriate email addresses and grammatical errors, according to a new poll.

The poll by online recruitment outfit fish4jobs found that three-quarters of employers admit that badly presented and written CVs are more of a turn-off than a candidate showing up late, wearing inappropriate clothes or swearing in an interview.

Worryingly, 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 per cent of recruiters), grammatical errors (89 per cent) and including irrelevant information (65 per cent).

Embarrassingly, an additional 63 per cent reported seeing inappropriate personal email addresses – for example, [email protected] and [email protected].

Misplaced letters are also playing havoc with candidate’s job prospects. ‘Manger’, not ‘manager’ , ‘busty’ instead of ‘busy’, and ‘pubic’ rather than ‘public’, are some of the worst offenders.

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 those who ‘attended collage’ or went to ‘a very good skool’ are also failing to impress.

Joe Slavin, chief executive at fish4jobs said: “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.”

3 Responses

  1. My favour CV spelling error
    My favourite error was one by a foreign candidate who said she was a “hard working and contentious employee.” I hope she meant conscientious.

  2. Spelling
    How ironic that the advert which headed this article contained the word ‘benifits’!

  3. cv ‘howlers’
    I shall gladly forward this item to some of my own children in their early 20s to hear their views on this topic.

    My very first guess is that they will probably say that if an employer wants to judge them on their private email addresses and occasional typos, that employer is probably recruiting against pretty weak selection criteria – based on the worlds they live in.

    As a pedant myself and proud upholder of old-fashioned standards of clarity and accuracy, I note that there are not many organisations in any sector who might be safe from accusations of the most glaring typos, grammatical errors and solecisms themselves. (And might one even suggest that there are not a few organisations who some may think also have quite inappropriate company names themselves?)

    This is not an excuse for sloppy presentation, but most schools seem to have stopped worrying about such matters several decades ago. So I would respectfully suggest employers might look just a little more deeply than at the ‘howlers’ each new generation may make – as perceived by others of an older generation.

    If we want to recruit bright, young capable people today, may it not be inappropriate to unhook from the old prejudices?

    Might not some wider perspectives of what seem ludicrous now also be brought to mind in recruiting younger people today?


    (Wot even rites books on dis subjeck, when his loins are so girdeth and his spirit up-boils.)

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Annie Hayes


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