Top Ten CV Howlers Revealed

Most CVs contain basic errors, according to a new survey.

Research undertaken by Marketing Professionals UK, found that half of CVs contained spelling or grammatical mistakes.
    Jonny Cainer, at Marketing Professionals UK, said: "If a CV is badly constructed, it can seriously hinder career progression. People should be aware of the most common mistakes as this is the only document the
employer has to judge you on."
The ten most common CV mistakes were:
• Typos - around 50% of CVs contain spelling mistakes or grammatical errors.
• Work experience listed in wrong order i.e. most recent position should be first. In particular applicants often neglect to detail their current role, it is sometimes omitted or out of date.
• Unexplained gaps in dates between jobs.
• Sloppy formatting - inappropriate fonts or mixing of styles and sizes;paragraphs or bullet points that do not align.
• Inappropriate use of colours, photographs, logos or fancy paper, it is rare they aid your application.
• Listing of irrelevant information such as holiday jobs or casual work that are not relevant to the position.
• Sending through a CV that has clearly been constructed in application for a different role - employers like to see a CV tailored to their vacancy.
• Disorganised - where a CV is hard to follow and information is scattered around the page
• Making it too long - CVs should be kept to 2-3 pages. Long paragraphs and sentences should be avoided.
• Too basic - CVs that only give basic information are not enough to interest the employer. Do not hurry over the preparation of your CV, consider the best way to explain your achievements and responsibilities in a clear and concise manner.

* Marketing Professionals UK studied 411 CVs received between August 2003 and July 2004 and were received from all over the UK.

Michael Heath