S4R News / 29th Sep 2015

What CV tricks put employers off?

Everyone understands the importance of a CV when looking for that perfect job. Research has shown that first impressions are everything, as the average manager will look at your CV for only 5-7 seconds, so it is crucial to make it stand out from the crowd.

With so much competition out there, it is essential that you are ticking all the right boxes when it comes to your CV.  This includes avoiding those CV faux pas, but what are they? Below we explore some of the more common blunders that really frustrate employers.

Using an incorrect writing style

A survey carried out by the New College of the Humanities discovered that over a quarter of job seekers that send in their CVs, claim to possess excellent written communication skills, but then immediately undermine this statement by delivering it using bad grammar and clichés.

A recent survey has stated that over 59% of employers find grammatical and typing mistakes incredibly infuriating. As well as grammatical errors, the survey found that 50% of recruiters dislike a casual tone at the end of an email i.e. words such as ‘cheers’. The email address that is provided also plays a huge part in first impressions, with 76% of employers surveyed stating that CVs sent from an unprofessional email address were more likely to be ignored. So make sure you don’t use that partycrazy@hotmail.com address or similar when applying for roles.


Along with written errors, it is not uncommon for jobseekers to be deceitful on their CV and subsequently in their interview. The New College of the Humanities survey exposed that 1 in 12 adults questioned added years onto the amount of time that they have worked in a previous company.  The survey also revealed that 11% of women lie about their hobbies and interests compared to 6% of men. How truthful are you on your CV?

Are you really standing out from the crowd?

It might seem like you are pushing the boundaries when it comes to listing your qualities on your CV; however, there are certain phrases that consistently come up in CVs that, far from impressing potential employers, just irritate them.  Below are just a few of the offending phrases:

  • I am a hard worker
  • I work well under pressure
  • I can work independently
  • I’m a team player
  • I am a problem solver
  • Good communicator
  • I’m proactive
  • I am a good listener
  • I’m enthusiastic
  • Excellent written communication skills

How many of these are in your CV?

With statistics suggesting that in today’s competitive job market, there is just a 1 in 10 response rate from employers to applications, it is as important as ever to make sure your CV stands out for all the right reasons. If you’ve been guilty of any of the above, we hope we’ve helped you on the first step of getting your CV to the top of the pile.

Good luck with getting your dream job.