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The connection between your car’s tyres and your next job

The connection between your car’s tyres and your next job

Posted on 24th January 2022

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A survey by the giant job-board aggregator Adzuna (which supplies the government with its data on the number of jobs as shown by levels of recruitment advertising), suggests that a lot of people’s CVs contain typos.  And when I say “a lot” I mean a lot – some two-thirds of all CVs have errors in them apparently.

This is not new news.  Four years ago, The Sun newspaper no less was reporting to its readers that an earlier survey by Adzuna revealed that “an analysis of 20,000 applications shown that nearly two-thirds of recently-submitted CVs had at least five mistakes, with the most commonly misspelled words being 'experience' and 'liasing.'  The irony here is, of course, that The Sun misspelled “liaising”!

The more recent study showed that of almost 150,000 CVs one in three had five or more errors. More than 5,000 contained 20 or more spelling mistakes. The three most common were “organisation”, “modelling” and “behaviour,” according to the report.

I suspect that those three errors were almost certainly due to the use of American English, the default program for word-processing software.  Using ‘z’ instead of ‘s’ or omitting an ‘l’ from modelling or the ‘u’ from behaviour may be incorrect in the UK but is not the absolute end of the world. Far more serious is getting a letter/word wrong in such a way that it completely transforms what the writer actually meant to say. 

For example, a story in today’s Daily Telegraph about young actors who behave unprofessionally, states “The industry is not (my emphasis) too focused on ‘self-promotion and social media followers.” It is clear from the rest of the article that this is exactly the opposite of the criticism that is being made and, I am pretty sure, the writer meant to write “The industry is now too focused…”  One letter, but the entire meaning has changed….

CVs and recruitment ads are like a car’s tyres.  Your vehicle’s tyres are absolutely vital to your safety: they are where it makes contact with the road.  If they are not in good condition, then they are dangerous, but even if slightly less than perfect they cease to grip as they should. 

For the candidate, a CV that doesn’t grip a recruiter instantly is far more likely to be consigned to the reject pile. Bear in mind that study after study has shown that most recruiters take fewer than 10 seconds to scan a CV.   If yours is shot through with errors then it says something about your attention to detail, and potentially something about your ability to communicate effectively with others (an incorrect email can sprag up an IT project for several days if you’re not careful!). 

The solution is simple. Use a (UK) spell-checker.  And, equally importantly, get someone to proof your copy.  We all know that the job market is really tight just now.  Those five minutes spent perfecting your CV might just make all the difference…

Matt Druce, Client Delivery Director, Be-IT Projects

Posted in News, Opinion, Recruitment News


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