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The 3 things that will put employers off your CV
Having written your CV and covering letter, it’s now time to apply for your dream job. With all the right skills, qualifications and experience you are the perfect candidate. You’re bound to get a job interview, right?
Sadly, with so much competition in the job market that’s not necessarily the case. Job hunters need to work harder than ever before to give themselves the best chance of an interview. You may have worked extremely hard on your CV, but you still may be putting an employer off.
Here are the 3 things that will definitely put an employer off your CV. So make sure you avoid them!
Spelling and grammar errors
Although you might think that Microsoft Word will highlight everything you need to fix, it often isn’t the case. Word struggles to identify incorrect word choices, such as affect vs. effect and compliment vs. complement. All of these words are spelt correctly but Word won’t necessarily spot if you’ve used the wrong one. That’s why it’s best to find the grammar gurus amongst your friends to read over your CV for you, before sending it out.
This is by far the worst mistake you can make when writing a CV. It is also the most common mistake found by employers, and one which will likely result in rejection. Even if you have all the right credentials, your attention to detail has already failed that test.
Accuracy is very important in any role, and sometimes can be the number one aspect for administrative roles. Your CV is being checked by the employer as a way to establish if your written skills are up to scratch. So make sure you don’t miss anything, and check, double check, and triple check.
The best administrators really care about what they do, from the biggest projects down to the tiniest tasks. If your job application isn’t perfectly presented, why should a recruiter believe you’ll put any more care into the job itself?
Opt for a stylish professionally designed CV template. Choose quality paper. Use a good quality printer or better still, a printing service. Print neatly, using a professional font and properly sized margins. Staple your CV carefully and neatly, ensuring all pages are aligned.
In addition, put the same care into your cover letter and envelope presentation if you’re posting. A little extra effort shows you care about the details: a valuable trait for any employee to have.
Fluffy words – cliché statements
Too many admin applicants use fluffy, meaningless words on their CV. They are unaware that recruiters see the same nonsense day-in, day-out and disregard it with the contempt it deserves.
Don’t list yourself as a ‘hard worker’ with a ‘good work ethic’. These things should go without saying. Further, if you want to demonstrate a particular skill such as teamwork, leadership or the ability to work under pressure, don’t tell – show. Giving examples of how you’ve demonstrated these abilities is far better than throwing around empty adjectives. Our administration CV example does exactly that, so use the content to guide you.
NB : This administration CV example was originally published on 11th February 2016 and has been completely updated for 2019.
Jen Wiss-Carline has been a Senior Manager and Consultant for several sizeable companies which included dealing with all aspects of staff management and recruitment. She is also a Solicitor and Chartered Legal Executive, having been admitted as a Fellow in February 2006.