Job applications can sometimes feel like The Hunger Games; you battle against other candidates to prove you are stronger, faster and better qualified. However, if you find yourself falling at the first hurdle and not even getting to the interview room, it could be time to start taking a closer look at that CV. Your CV is an employer’s first impression of you, so it needs to stand out from the crowd.
Here at Hotcourses we love helping you out, especially when it comes to getting that dream job. With plenty of CV writing courses listed on our site, we understand the importance of going back to basics and learning from an expert. A recent study from GSM London polled the opinions of senior recruitment officers from some of London’s biggest companies over a wide range of sectors, to discover exactly what annoys them about candidates’ CVs. Not sure what you are doing wrong? Have a read of this.
Grammar – an instant decision maker
According to the experts, it’s not what you say but how you say it. Unsurprisingly, spelling and grammatical mistakes came top of the list of options given for dismissing a candidate’s CV. 87% of recruiters agreed that even the most qualified candidate would not be interviewed if their CV had obvious mistakes.
Still get confused with your and you’re? Going on an English grammar course could help you in more ways than one.
Never, ever, ever lie
If there is one lesson to learn from The Apprentice it’s that even the smallest white lie on your CV can create a whirlwind of trouble. Incorrect information ranked second in the poll, with 76% of employers agreeing that this resulted in an instant no. This was followed closely by key information missing, such as contact details, dates of employment and job responsibilities.
Interestingly, the poll revealed that more employers are annoyed by long CVs than those that dislike short CVs. 46% agreed that reading through pages of waffle was irritating, whereas only 26% said they were less likely to interview a candidate because their CV was too short. The results also suggested that the bigger the company, the more annoying a long CV was found to be. If you need some help with what to include and what to cut, sign up to that CV writing course pronto!
Don’t be too casual
Sure you want to get your personality across, but wait till you get to the interview room. An informal or casual tone was found to be irritating to 44% of employers, and was ranked as more important that the CV’s design. 29% agreed that too much personal information was also a bad thing, so try not to focus on that silver Duke of Edinburgh award you did in secondary school.
Save the photo for LinkedIn
When it came to the layout of the CV, 39% of employers said they would dismiss a CV if it had a poor design. Unless you are applying for a creative roll, being too artistic with your chosen font and layout is risky. Also 13% of recruitment experts said they wouldn’t bother interviewing a candidate who had a photo of themselves on their CV. However great the headshot is, save it for LinkedIn.
With the job market being such a competitive place, getting the basics right really could make all the difference. Need some more help? Take a look at some of the CV courses, chat to a tutor and get ready for those interviews!
Jane McGuire received her BA (English) from the University of Loughborough. A yoga enthusiast with a sweet tooth, in her spare time you will probably find Jane in the gym or online shopping.