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Outsourcing & Recruitment

Jobs in Credit reveals Britain's worst CV crimes

By CreditMan Wednesday, April 9, 2008

When it comes to landing an interview for that dream job the CV is still the most important tool but Britain’s appear all too lazy when it comes to presenting themselves in the best light.

A survey of CVs by an online recruitment site has found that four out of every ten CVs received by an employer will contain a fundamental error.

Spelling mistakes, poor punctuation and bad design or layout lead the list of worst CV crimes.

Jobsincredit.com, which offers its candidates a professional CV enhancement as part of its service, interviewed 100 HR professionals at some of the UK’s leading organisations. The survey asked them to gauge the amount of CVs they received containing basic errors that cut short the application and asked them to name the most common mistakes found on CVs.

As well as poor attention to detail, other errors included the omission of qualifications, key dates and contact details for referees.

“It’s amazing to think that four out of every ten CVs seen by employers contain a basic error which will prevent that application from progressing,” says Brett Marlow, Director of Jobsincredit.com. “With spelling and grammar checkers built into word processors, there’s simply no excuse for a CV to contain typos. As for design, the principle offenders are the use of outlandish fonts and poor layout. A great CV needs to be easy to read.”

Top help improve the country’s CVs, jobsincredit.com offers the following advice.

Presentation

First impressions really do matter so it’s important that your CV looks fantastic. If it’s going to be printed and posted, use the highest quality paper you can: it will feel so much better than the supermarket own brand other people use. Wherever possible, get your CV printed on a laser printer. Never send a photocopied CV.

Length
One page is ideal and two pages are quite acceptable. Some senior or technical roles may run to three pages - but no more!

Layout
The CV should be eye-catching and uncluttered. Use bold text, underlining and bullet points to achieve this – but don’t go over the top.

Spelling
Always check your CV for spelling and grammatical errors. Far too many CVs contain too many spelling mistakes.

Relevance
Only include the information that sells you – prospective employers don’t want to waste time reading details irrelevant to your ability to fulfil the job role.

Structure
Place the most relevant information at the top so that prospective employers see this first. For example, recent graduates will probably have stronger qualifications than work experience so should describe their education before their career summary.

Profile
All the best CVs have a professional profile on the first page. This should summarise the specific skills acquired during studies or employment and should carefully avoid any clichés.

Target the CV
Be focused. Where is your career heading? Tailor your CV accordingly. Use the profile to emphasise your relevant skills and use - but don’t overuse - appropriate terminology and buzzwords.

Career Gaps
Deal with these carefully and tactfully. For example, state just years instead of months and years against your jobs in a career summary.

The Professional Touch
Not everyone is comfortable with selling themselves fully but if you’re going to get the job of your dreams then you really need to. An ideal way of maximizing your chances of landing your new job is to register with jobsincredit.com and sign up to one of the site’s new services.

Read more at www.jobsincredit.com