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The Most Unusual CV Mistakes

CV mistakesTo impress a potential employer with your CV, you usually have just a few seconds. According to a survey of 194 UK employers, nearly one-third (32 per cent) said they spend one minute or less reviewing a CV. Fourteen per cent even spend only 30 seconds or less.  The study reveals what employers said they look for in CVs, what makes them instantly pass on a candidate and the most unusual CV blunders.

Lying in your CV is one of the leading ways to seriously hamper chances for landing the job. Twenty-three per cent of UK employers said they caught a lie on a CV in the past year.

Major turn-off: Spelling errors and typos

When asked what would make them automatically dismiss a job candidate, it’s no surprise that spellings errors and typos were cited most often. Other turn-offs include:

  • CV with large blocks of text that are difficult to read – 36 per cent
  • CV that had exact text from the job ad pasted into the document – 36 per cent
  • CV with no cover letter – 26 per cent
  • CV that is not customized to the position – 25 per cent
  • CV that is three pages or longer – 18 per cent
  • CV that has an objective instead of a career summary – 17 per cent
  • CV with an unprofessional email address – 16 per cent

The most unusual CVs

The following CVs are examples for the most unusual CVs employers in Europe and the U.S. have come across:

  • CV was written in rhyme.
  • The only words written on the CV were the candidate’s name and phone number and the phrase “I want a job.”
  • Candidate listed lion tamer under hobbies.
  • Candidate included mystery shopper under her experience, but didn’t reveal the name of the employer because “it’s a secret.”
  • Candidate’s photograph on the CV didn’t match the person the hiring manager spoke with on Skype (different ethnicity).
  • CV was written on a page torn out from an exercise book.
  • Candidate put God down as a reference (no phone number).
  • Candidate claimed to be a direct descendant of the Vikings.
  • Candidate’s email had “lovesbeer” in it.
  • Candidate listed “Master of Time and Universe” under his experience.
  • Candidates specifically pointed out that he was not a gypsy.

Employers search for keywords

You can improve the chances for your CV to get a higher ranking by adding keywords from the job at to your CV. These are the most popular keywords UK employers said they use when scanning CVs:

  • Communication skills – 68 per cent
  • Problem-solving skills – 62 per cent
  • Computer software skills – 44 per cent
  • Customer satisfaction or retention – 34 per cent
  • Leadership – 32 per cent
  • Productivity – 32 per cent
  • Project management – 29 per cent
  • Sales – 18 per cent
  • Web or Internet – 17 per cent
  • Management – 17 per cent

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