New research shows one in three British CVs contain a spelling error
from jobs search engine, Adzuna.co.uk. Of those containing errors, 54% contained just one misspelt word, 46% featuring two or more misnomers. The highest number of spelling errors in a British CV was a whopping 23 mistakes, with & lsquo;responsibility’ being named the most common misspelling. Jobseekers in the West Midlands were the most likely make mistakes in their CV, the study found.
Conducted in March 2015, the research semantically analysed over 3,000 CVs across the UK to highlight the most common errors made in job applications. Each CV was parsed using advanced text-mining technology to extract full work history, years of work experience, contact details, and key skills. Location data and keyword analysis highlighted trends in regional applications, and common skills promoted by candidates.
The three most common spelling mistakes in the study included "responsibility", "liaise" and "university". “Communication”, “experience” and “management” also featured in the top ten.
Although spelling errors were the most common mistakes made in job applications, the research also highlighted 30% of CVs contained a gap in employment history, a notorious bugbear for recruiting managers. Lack of a personal summary, omission of a valid home address and concerns over CV length rounded out the top five most common issues found in the study.
Comparatively few made mistakes regarding email addresses or file names, highlighting our nation’s digital development. Applicants in today's internet age are three times more likely to omit or make an error in their postal address than in an email address or mobile number. Just 135 of the CVs analysed fell victim to inappropriate file names, the lowest level of any type of error.
Andrew Hunter, co-founder of Adzuna, commented, “As the first impression your new employer has of you, it is impossible to overstate the importance of the humble CV. Spelling mistakes, inconsistent work histories and missing information are all huge red flags for potential employers, and candidates need to take extra care to show their best side to hiring managers if they hope to make it to the interview stage.“
Understanding the language of CVs
A further analysis of the common language used in job applications via ValueMyCVrevealed the most common traits emphasised by applicants included motivation, communication skills and technological knowhow. Candidates were far less likely to boast of analytical abilities, creative talent or negotiation knowhow.
Peter Briffett, COO of YPlan, explained, “The impact of the digital revolution on the world of job applications is undeniable. With a wealth of exciting, high growth start ups at the centre of the UK tech boom, employers are clamouring for enthusiastic, personable staff with strong technical skills, so it is understandable that candidates emphasise these crucial areas. The onus is now on employers to ensure other important qualities, like creative capabilities and more traditional skills, do not get sidelined.”
A study of the geographic distribution of the country’s most error-ridden CVs showed candidates in the West Midlands and North West to be the worst offenders, with Yorkshire residents coming in at third place. Famously busy Londoners and applicants in the North East of the nation completed the top five.
DATA TABLES BELOW:
Table 1: Top 10 most common CV errors in the UK
Common CV Mistakes
Gaps in employment history
Lack of personal summary
Missing or invalid postal address
CV too long or too short
Invalid or omitted phone number
Invalid or omitted email address
Inappropriate file name
Missing spaces in CV text
Use of American spellings
Table 2: The most misspelt words in British CVs
Most Commonly Misspelt Words
Table 3: Top 5 regions for job application mistakes
Region with most CV errors
Yorkshire & The Humber