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NB: This CV template was originally published on 16th January 2019 and it has been completely updated for 2020.
Q: What does a spelling mistake on my CV say to an employer?
When the hiring manager reads your CV they are not just looking to tick as many boxes as possible from the list of skills and qualifications they requested, they are also trying to paint a picture of how you’ll function as part of a team and how you’ll fit into the company’s culture.
Are you a diligent person, hard working, passionate, dedicated, friendly, positive…?
So what does a teeny tiny spelling mistake have to do with all this, and what will a spelling mistake on my CV say to a potential employer?
It says you’re lazy…
You’d be surprised to know that a spelling mistake, no matter how trivial it may seem, could give the employer the impression that you’re lazy. A hard working employer is a mandatory requirement of any business, and if you’re not able to ensure your CV is completely free of errors you could project a lazy attitude and approach in your work.
It says you’re not diligent…
An employer wants to see a certain level of diligence in an employee so they can easily spot mistakes and rectify them. Having a good level of diligence allows an employee to highlight potential issues so they can be solved quickly and efficiently.
A spelling mistake on your CV will clearly identify that your level of diligence is lacking, as you were unable to pick it up and solve the problem before you applied for the job. This sloppy approach could instantly mean rejection when it comes to trying to get an interview.
It says you don’t care…
If the job means that much to you then your CV would be free of errors – spelling, grammatical, formatting, and anything else that could end in rejection. The employer is looking for someone who is passionate and dedicated to getting it right the first time, and for an individual that wants to work for the company.
It says your literacy skills need work…
An important aspect of most jobs is to have good literacy skills, which is why a spelling mistake could instantly put you at a disadvantage over other applicants. If you are applying for a clerical position then a spelling mistake on your CV will not look good at all. Even if you’re applying for a position that you’d expect not to have to put pen to paper, you’d be surprised to find that at some point you still have to.
In any case, all of the previous reasons we’ve mentioned so far would come into effect, so even if you don’t need to have a degree in English you could make a bad impression with the employer.
A CV free of spelling mistakes can put you one step closer to victory, and shows the employer that you’ve taken the time and effort to proofread your CV and ensure it’s perfect. After all, if you do really care that much for the job you would have spotted it!
Make the most of this accountant CV example:
- Mention your memberships! Membership of a professional organisation, like those on this accountant CV example, helps to demonstrate professionalism. Accountants will typically be affiliated with the ICAEW (UK), ICAS (Scotland), ICAI (Ireland), ACCA (global), CIPFA (public services) or CIMA (Management).
- Choose good hobbies! For example, sports and fitness activities can show an interest in your health and wellbeing (which tells an employer you’re less likely to take sick days). Find out more – ‘Does the hobbies section of my CV really matter?‘