A new study analysed 20,000 CVs recently submitted to Adzuna’s CV evaluation tool ValueMyCV, to find out which CV blunders are commonly made by jobseekers, and how prolific the mistakes they make are.
Only 1,134 CVs out of the 20,000 analysed were fault free, equal to less than 6 per cent, leaving more than 9 in 10 CVs with spelling or grammatical mistakes. Meanwhile, more than 6 in 10 CVs (63 per cent) were riddled with 5 or more errors, showing many jobseekers are failing to double-check their descriptions and could be selling themselves short.
And the research showed men make more mistakes than women, with 8 per cent of female job hunters finessing a flawless CV as opposed to just 6per cent of men.
On a regional basis, jobseekers in Yorkshire have the most accurate CVs with 13 per cent proving error free. Jobseekers in Northern Ireland are most likely to have a typo on their CV with just 4 per cent of CVs proving flawless, followed by job hunters in London (6 per cent) and Scotland (7 per cent).
Too many apostrophes spoiling CVs
One grammatical error cropped up in 697 of 20,000 CVs analysed: adding extra apostrophes into the education section. 691 CVs mentioned ‘GCSE’s’ with several jobseekers also adding in unnecessary apostrophes to ‘A Level’s’ making slip-ups in the education section the most common pitfall.
Similarly, 403 CVs incorrectly used ‘KPI’s’ to describe their previous employment successes.
The most frequently misspelled word was ‘experience’ which was mistakenly written 62 times, including as ‘experiance’. ‘Responsibilities’ was spelt incorrectly 60 times.
‘Professional’ (56 errors), ‘Liaising’ (53 errors) and ‘Strategising’ (34 errors) round-off the top 5 words commonly misspelt on jobseekers’ CVs.
Americanisms were also rife, with misspellings such as ‘organization’, ‘specialized’, “center” and “humor” cropping up commonly on CVs.
Top CV Mistakes
Percentage of flawless CVs by Region
Yorkshire – 13.0per cent
North East England – 9.9per cent
West Midlands – 9.4per cent
South West England – 8.4per cent
North West England – 8.4per cent
Eastern England – 8.3per cent
East Midlands – 7.2per cent
South East England – 7.0per cent
Wales – 6.8per cent
Scotland – 6.6per cent
London – 5.8per cent
Northern Ireland – 3.7per cent
Andrew Hunter, co-founder of Adzuna, commented,
A good CV should succinctly show off employment history, education and key skills, but it should also be flaw free. Employers may be put-off by amateur CV errors like adding in rogue apostrophes, using americanisms or forgetting to put the ‘i’ before the ‘e’. They suggest a jobseeker lacking soft skills such as attention to detail. And when spellcheck and CV screening tools are easily accessible, there really is no excuse for error-riddled documents.
Aphrodite is a creative writer and editor specialising in publishing and communications. She is passionate about undertaking projects in diverse sectors. She has written and edited copy for media as varied as social enterprise, art, fashion and education. She is at her most happy owning a project from its very conception, focusing on the client and project research in the first instance, and working closely with CEOs and Directors throughout the consultation process. Much of her work has focused on rebranding; messaging and tone of voice is one of her expertise, as is a distinctively unique writing style in my most of her creative projects. Her work is always driven by the versatility of language to galvanise image and to change perception, as it is by inspiring and being inspired by the wondrous diversity of people with whom paths she crosses cross!
Aphrodite has had a variety of high profile industry clients as a freelancer, and previously worked for a number of years as an Editor and Journalist for Prospects.ac.uk.
Aphrodite is also a professional painter.