The blunders emerged in a survey of more than 700 employers by website Careerbuilder.co.uk to find out what employers advise against in job applications. Other jaw-dropping mistakes included the candidate who submitted a photograph of somebody else - raising some question marks over his ability to think ahead, given he had yet to have an interview - and the applicant who only gave their name and number with the phrase: “I want a job.” The attempt from a jobseeker who offered their CV on a page torn from an exercise book and another sent from email address “lovesbeer” also failed to make quite the desired impression.
Employers' biggest pet hate was spelling errors and typos, followed by CVs filled with off-putting reams of text, chunks lifted from the job advert and those lacking a cover letter. Businesses did not like CVs of three pages or longer, those that were not targeted at the position and any that listed objectives instead of a career summary. What did get the right sort of attention were references to communication skills, problem-solving ability and computer software skills, among other keywords.
Nearly one-third of UK employers said they spend one minute or less reviewing a CV, while more than one in ten admitted 30 seconds or less. Roughly one in four employers said they detected a lie on a CV in the past year - although researchers could not say whether that included the surprised recipient of a CV listing “lion taming” as a hobby.
“You want to stack the deck in your favour when writing a CV,” said Tony Roy, president of CareerBuilder EMEA. “Make sure to highlight key accomplishments with quantifiable results, so employers can see how you put your skills into action. It’s also important to remember that employers often use electronic devices to screen and rank CVs. “Pepper in keywords from the job ad into your CV as it relates to your experience to improve your ranking.”