The dumbest mistake you can make on your CV

Employer Natalie Delmar holding some of the applications from a recent job ad that were rejected due to major spelling and grammatical mistakes.
Employer Natalie Delmar holding some of the applications from a recent job ad that were rejected due to major spelling and grammatical mistakes.

IT'S one of the dumbest mistakes you can make when applying for a new job.

Making a typo or spelling mistake on a job application or CV is an easy error to make and an easy one to avoid, but still, most of us are guilty.

An analysis of 40,000 Australian CVs submitted as part of genuine job applications, showed two thirds of Australian jobseekers were limiting their chances of landing a job due to sloppy spelling.

Job search website Adzuna looked at CVs submitted to the site, and identified which states were the worst offenders, along with the most commonly misspelled words.

Data from the analysis showed 67 per cent of CVs submitted contained at least one spelling error and 50 per cent had four or more.

Just over 70 per cent of employment-seekers in Western Australia submitted a CV that included at least one spelling error. Queenslanders trailed closely behind with 70 per cent of CVs with one or more errors.

ACT jobseekers were the least careless spellers. Only 63.03 per cent of job applicants from the capital included errors.

Australian Catholic University careers expert Jim Bright said he was not at all surprised by Adzuna's results, saying the standards of CVs "are pretty appalling generally".

As for whether it mattered, Dr Bright said there was no question.

"We did some research where we sent genuine resumes, anonymously, to employers across Victoria, and found that having a single spelling mistake reduced chances by 50 per cent," he said.

"We didn't find it made any difference in terms of where it appeared. The results were consistent."

Dr Bright said he had commonly heard the argument that one little typo in a job application wouldn't count, but encouraged applicants to think of it from the employer's point of view.

"It matters a lot," he said. "If I've got someone working for me and they leave a zero off my invoice, I'm going to be grumpy all year. That's the message that it sends."

Dr Bright said the worst mistake he'd ever seen on a resume was from a native English speaking masters student, who wrote on a cover letter: "I have exceptional attention to detaile".

"And that's true," he said.

Aside from spelling errors, Dr Bright said the most common mistakes jobseekers make is not tailoring their resume for each job they're hunting for, and not emphasising their job achievements.

"We hear a lot about people lying about their job achievements, and I think that's actually exaggerated," he said.

"What they don't do is point out how they added value and made a difference, and instead they list their job responsibilities.

"Job responsibilities or duties are what the employer gives you, achievements are what you give back, and a potential employer wants to know what you can give them."

Adzuna CEO Raife Watson said warned jobseekers not to let their first impression with a potential employer be a poorly formatted CV riddled with errors.

\"When a jobseeker has ample time to correct mistakes before submitting their resume - yet still send it in with errors - then what kind of mistakes are they likely to make when they join the company in pressure situations when deadlines are strict," he said.

According to Adzuna's analysis:
- Curriculum
- Address
- Prioritise
- Liaise
- Business
- Management
- Achievement
- Committed
- University
- Labourer

News Corp Australia

Topics:  business career jobs

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