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What to avoid on your CV

Published: Sunday, 20 September 2015   Category: All Graduate Jobs News

A CV reveals all of the important information about you to any prospective employer so it’s absolutely essential that you get it right.

New research suggests that the average boss will look at a CV for three minutes, while one in five will not spend more than 60 seconds perusing it.

The survey from New College of the Humanities reveals just how vital that first impression is, and more importantly, why you can’t afford to make mistakes.

Using well-worn clichés was found to be a huge no-no and hindered many applicants, alongside other rudimentary mistakes.

Poor grammar and spelling mistakes were one of the major factors that were likely to put off potential employers – especially in cases where the use of ‘there’, ‘their’ and ‘they’re’ as well as ‘your’ and ‘you’re’ was wrong.

These simple mistakes, as well as appearing as laid back in email correspondence or on a CV was also found to reflect poorly on an individual.

Using jargon is also not recommended for two reasons – firstly as a reader may not understand it, and secondly because it can come back to haunt an applicant if they are then questioned on it at a later date and they are unaware or not prepared.

The research highlighted the main ‘pet hates’ of decision makers and bosses when they read CVs. These were as follows:

1. Typos and grammatical errors
2. Overly casual tone
3. Use of clichés and jargon
4. A CV that is too long (over two pages)
5. Flashy backgrounds and borders
6. Written in third person
7. Use of emojis or clip art
8. Use of cringe worthy quotes
9. Unprofessional email address
10. Unconventional fonts

All of the issues identified can be easily solved and should be identified when proof-reading through a CV – an essential part of the application process that should not be ignored.

Some of the clichés can be harder to spot, but the main ones to avoid are ‘can work independently’, ‘hard worker’ and ‘team player’.

All three of those phrases featured on at least a third of the CVs looked at in the study and were disliked by the majority of business decision makers.

Graduates are encouraged to take time over their CVs, as it will give them the best chance of landing a place on a graduate scheme or other role, such as those on offer via Grad Plus

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