10 May 2012

Sloppy CVs


We all have something where we have zero tolerance.  For me, it’s poor spelling   Poor punctuation gets me down too but it’s a while since I read Eats, Shoots and Leaves so I’m not going to go on about that.

It’s spelling, particularly with relation to CVs.  Ultimately, it’s unacceptable to have any spelling mistakes on a CV.  Ever. Interestingly it’s often the more senior candidates who will email over a CV riddled with typos.

Consider this from the employer’s perspective.  They’re assessing five different CVs.  Candidates all qualified for the role.  If there are typos in the mix, that’s instantly going to make them judge you, and not in a positive way either.

The biggest problem is when a candidate says they are going to ‘just quickly update’ their CV.  I’ll guarantee that I’ll get something sub standard.  I appreciate that we’re all busy BUT your CV is hugely important and any sloppiness will count against you.  It’s always the obvious typos too, I frequently get asked if I’ve got any rolls.  No kidding.  Other specials include a BDM who was consistently ‘tanked as top biller’, an AM who had a career break to ‘renovate her horse’, a Creative who was responsible for ‘ruining a number of client advertising campaigns’ and an AD who spelled Curriculum Vitae wrongly (In large bold capitals!).  Fortunately I do check CVs before I send them onto clients….

So anyway, this isn’t a big preachy missive.  Just a note to say check, check and check again.  Get a fresh pair of eyes to look things over.  If you’re using a covering letter, don’t forget to check that too.  Anything that we do at speed generally suffers in terms of quality so be aware of it.  Use spell checker too.  Most clients prefer not to see US spellings so try and stick to the UK standard.

If updating a CV quickly.  Do please check dates…..often I’ll receive CVs that say 1999-Present, 2005 – Present etc.  And the role responsibilities will all be in the present tense.   Even for the jobs they were doing 10 years ago!

In summary, if you’re updating your CV.  It’s worth doing it properly.  Please ensure that the dates, the tenses, the spelling and the punctuation are all spot on.  A sloppy CV implies that you’re generally careless with poor attention to detail. Not really the first impression that you want to make to a potential employer!