Spelling mistakes and bad grammar consistently top the lists of the most common mistakes. A survey of 500 UK employers by the National Citizen Service (The Independent) places them in first and second place for ‘fatal’ CV errors. Your CV cannot swiftly make amends and offer a winning smile to ensure a minor slip won’t damage an application. In the eyes of a hiring manager, an error on a prepared and consciously submitted document is unforgivable. First impressions count. Poor grammar and misspelt words give the perception of inadequate presentation and communication skills, and an unprofessional, even slapdash approach. Needless to say, it’s the quickest route to the reject pile. With built-in spell check tools in most software, there really is no excuse. One good piece of CV advice is not to rely on this completely, as these programmes don’t check contextual spelling mistakes. For example, it won’t pick up sales manger, when you meant to type sales manager!
Then there is grammar: it may be the unique format of a CV that leads some to adopt a slightly maverick approach. How an unfamiliar HR or hiring manager will regard this though, is unknown, until that is, you don’t get called for an interview. They may be a member of the Apostrophe Protection Society, or quite simply, somebody who appreciates good written skills. Will capitalisation of common nouns such as functional department or job titles be frowned upon or will your inclusion of an Oxford comma for stylistic reasons out-weigh grammatical correctness? It’s this attention to detail that could give you the edge.
Proofreading is essential for any personal marketing material, including LinkedIn profiles, cover letters, personal web pages, as well as that all important CV. This is, of course, included in a professional CV writing service that prepares a CV on your behalf. A proofreading service for a CV you have compiled yourself is well worth the small investment. If English is your second language, this is essential, due to contextual nuances. Translations are often too literal. Software such as Google Translate is a great tool for gaining a quick general understanding of text, but it should never be relied upon for your personal marketing documents. Some original content simply doesn’t translate; cultural differences and subtleties of language should never be underestimated. An appropriate tone on paper is as important as correct interview etiquette in a face-to-face meeting.
If any further endorsement was needed for carefully proofing your job search documents, these examples of unfortunate language choices and spelling mishaps, perfectly illustrate where it would have been invaluable!
“Please find the attached CV which lists all of my kills”
“I’m submitting the attached CV for your consumption”
“I’ve updated my CV so it’s more appalling to employers”
“I want to play a major part in watching a company advance”
“Thank you for your consideration, hope to hear from you shorty”
“Please overlook my CV”
No doubt their CV was duly overlooked…..
Interview Fit provides professional CV writing services and an additional proofreading service.
If you are writing a CV, contact us for a free CV review or CV advice, we would be delighted to assist.
Post by Jenny Hargrave
(source of quotation: author Jenny Crompton)