CV Howlers: What NOT to write on your CV – THE RESULTS

MD of Personal Career Management Corinne Mills has completed a CV survey and has found that over 90% of CV’s had an error due to spelling, grammar or format and 25% of the CV’s were badly presented.

See below some of the alarming disclosures found when crawling through the CV’s –

“A director with a strong breath”

“Baker, working on ovens and customers”

“I’m looking manly for an IT role”

“Brought in by American company to take control of the UK”

What was more surprising was that most of these CV’s were not junior applicants, but CEO’s, senior professionals and recent graduates.

With today’s tough job market it is more important than ever to ensure you have an error free CV and that it shows you are capable of doing the job.

Here are the statistics from our CV survey:

Statistics

Number

% of total

Total number of CVs reviewed

500

CVs with errors due to spelling, grammar or format

462

92%

Spelling only

14

3%

Grammar only

199

40%

Format only

64

13%

Spelling and grammar

25

5%

Grammar and formatting

97

19%

Spelling and formatting

4

1%

All three

19

4%

Format too long

40

8%

Number of pages per CV

1

5

1%

2

164

33%

3

208

42%

4

79

16%

more than 4

43

9%

Longest CV

11 pages

(Correct number of pages for a CV is 2)

Choosing to give date of birth

139

28%

Choosing to give family details e.g married with children

137

27%

Choosing to give nationality

130

26%

Examples of most common mistakes

  • Tenses: switching
    from present to past and vice versa for no reason or just bad use. E.g. “I have
    ran the London Marathon”
  • Apostrophes:
    “Tesco’s”, “saving 100,000’s of dollars”, “KPI’s”, “it’s” instead of “its”
  • Ellipses in all
    their forms. Misuse and “..”
  • Capitalising random
    words mid-sentence
  • Variations in page
    margins or text alignment

Caps:

  • “which encompasses
    Travel and transport”
  • “…and pitch
    capabilities, Implemented a highly effective…”
  • “I Initiated”
  • “all Rooms”
  • “revamped all food
    and Beverage”

Formatting:

  • Bad spacing, e.g.
    “to Ore , 134km long”, “9staff”
  • Change in font and
    font size
  • Switching between
    “and” and “&”
  • Section headers at
    the very bottom of pages with section content overleaf very common.
  • Mixed styles of
    bullet points / erratic alignment
  • Lack of consistency
    formatting dates, switching from full dates to abbreviations and, within
    abbreviations, switching between /, ., – and ~

CV Howler Press Release

Corinne Mills has relaunched her CV book ‘You’re Hired! How to write a brilliant CV’ which you can purchase from Amazon. Her updated book includes a new chapter on looking at how to maximize the benefits of LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook and other social media channels.

Corinne works with individuals on a 1-1 basis providing career coaching and outplacement services helping job seekers to establish what their next career move should be and supports them in their job search.

For more information on our CV survey or to find out about our CV writing services please call Personal Career Management on 01753 888995 or fill in our online contact form.