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10 most common CV mistakes

According to new research from New College of the Humanities, the average boss looks at a CV for just three minutes, while one in five make a decision on a candidate by gleaning it for under a minute.

Despite almost a quarter of candidates claiming they have excellent written communication skills, many of them fall foul of using worn clichés in their CVs, the survey of 2,000 found. 

The worst mistakes to make on a CV are typos and grammatical errors, for example using ‘there’ ‘their’ and ‘they’re’ incorrectly, and ‘your’ and ‘you’re’.

The top ten pet hates:

1. Typos and grammatical errors
2. Overly casual tone
3. Use of jargon and clichés
4. A CV more than two pages in length
5. Snazzy borders and backgrounds
6. Writing in the third person
7. Inclusion of clip art or emojis
8. The use of cringeworthy quotes
9. Unprofessional email address
10. Unconventional font

In terms of worn clichés, almost half of CVs typically state the person tends to ‘work well independently,’ and a third say they are a ‘team player.’



The most over used CV phrases likely to put them off potential employees:


1. Can work independently

2. Hard worker

3. Works well under pressure

4. Good communicator

5. Enthusiastic
6. Team player
7. Good listener
8. Excellent written communication skills
9. Proactive
10. Problem solver

The research also shows that:

  • One in ten have been creative over length of employment and previous companies
  • Five per cent have bent the truth about previous positions and references.
  • Almost twice as many women lie about their hobbies and interests compared to men


Read the full article here: