7 unusual CV mistakes that employers hate

By now, we all know that spelling mistakes and cliché phrases will get your CV rejected quicker than you can say “hard-working team player”

But what are the lesser known CV errors that are driving recruiters crazy and keeping your name out of the interview shortlist?

If you are in pursuit of your next big career move, check out these 7 lesser known CV mistakes that might be stopping you from landing that job.

Bad file naming

Your CV filename will be highly visible to recruiters and employers; so it needs to look professional.

Saving your CV with a file name like “John’s first CV draft 21” does not create the impression of a polished, reliable candidate.

Sure this may not always be a deal breaker, but it looks very sloppy and will cause recruiters to doubt your professionalism, which could see you removed from the shortlist if competition is high.

Not researching employers

One of the most damaging mistakes that job hunters make is failing to research their target employers before they write their CV.             

If your CV doesn’t include the core qualities that employers require for their roles, they will not hire you – it’s that simple.

Before crafting your CV; browse through some relevant job adverts and take note of the most important candidate requirements.

Then when it comes to writing your CV, you will know exactly what skills and knowledge you need to make prominent.

Key word stuffing

Ever since the use of CV scanning software became common knowledge; candidates have been attempting to “beat the system” by repeatedly cramming relevant buzzwords in their CVs. The goal behind this tactic is to trick the computer systems in to thinking that their CV is highly suited to the vacancy in question.

However, this method will backfire as soon as your CV reaches a human reviewer, because it looks unnatural and recruiters will quickly suss what’s going on

Write your CV to impress humans firstly and maybe tweak it afterwards to make sure that you are including key words once – but do not repeatedly cram in key words where they aren’t needed.

Non editable formatting

Sending your CV in a non-editable format can seriously damage your chances of landing job interviews.

Recruiters often need to make quick edits to your CV before sending them to hiring managers - such as moving the content into a company-required format or removing contact details.

If your CV isn’t instantly editable then recruiters will need to contact you to obtain an editable version. This will severely slow down the process and mean that other candidates’ CVs will reach the decision maker before yours does.

Wild unproven claims

“The UK’s leading marketer”?

“Number one salesman in Europe”?

These type of phrases may land you a place on The Apprentice, but in the real world, they just look a bit embarrassing and arrogant.

Stick to using cold hard facts like experience, skills and achievements if you want to prove your value to potential employers.

Including salary requirements

Adding your current pay rate or salary requirements to your CV is not only unnecessary and a little premature, but it also hurts your negotiating power when it comes to offer stage.

You should always look to determine the maximum budget for the role before revealing your hand when it comes to remuneration.

If an employer is willing to pay £25K for their role, but your CV has already told them that you will accept £20K – then they are very unlikely to offer more than £20K

Unprofessional email addresses

When trying to appear credible to potential employers, it’s not a great idea to brand the top of your CV with an email address like bad_boy_4_life@gmail.com”. It looks hugely unprofessional and will have recruiters doubting your general approach to work.

If you have an email address that seemed really cool when you were 14; set up a new one for your job hunting campaign.

Andrew Fennell is an experienced recruiter and founder of CV writing service StandOut CV