CV blunders hit jobseekers' chances of securing employment

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Media caption"Your CV is your shop window" - says Director of the National Careers Service Joe Billington

Jobseekers are hurting their chances of securing new employment by not spending enough time on their CV, according to a survey.

The most common mistake is sending a general CV to employers, rather than tailoring it to a specific role, according to research by the National Careers Service.

Two thirds of careers advisers said this stopped people securing new jobs.

More than 60% of advisers said spelling mistakes were a common error.

Joe Billington, director of the National Careers Service, said: "People know they are making mistakes, but they are not spending enough time on making sure their CV is fit for purpose."

"A CV is an applicant's shop window. With the right advice and support anyone can turn their CV from a careers void into a careers victory."

Most careers advisers believe people should spend an hour a week working on their CV, but fewer than a third of jobseekers agree.

Examples of the types of mistakes encountered by advisers for the National Careers Service include a 17-page CV, a CV typed entirely in capital letters, and the name of the applicant's current employer spelt incorrectly throughout.

The report was based on polls of almost 200 careers advisers from the National Careers Service and over 2,000 jobseekers.

The National Careers Service, which provides information and advice on learning, training and work opportunities, says jobseekers should follow some basic steps to improve their CVs:

  • Ensure the email address you send your application from isn't quirky as it is not likely to be taken seriously
  • Check your CV carefully for spelling and grammar mistakes
  • Avoid common clich├ęs such as "team player" and "results driven"
  • Make small adaptations to your CV to target the specific requirements of the job you are applying for.

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