These are the areas that are putting recruiters off of candidates’ CVs


The research found that many candidates’ CVs include spelling mistakes, unrelated skills and irrelevant information, which is pushing businesses to breaking point.

According to the study, which surveyed recruiters on their CV pet peeves, the top 10 areas which put organisations off a candidate straight away, include:

  1. Spelling mistakes – 71 per cent
  2. Being massively under-qualified for the role – 62.6 per cent
  3. Lists of unrelated skills – 40.6 per cent
  4. Too many jobs over a short period of time – 22.6 per cent
  5. A CV that is more than two pages long – 16.1 per cent
  6. A picture – 14.2 per cent
  7. A CV littered with buzzwords – 12.9 per cent
  8. A CV that is ‘too creative’ – 12.9 per cent
  9. No cover letter, even when the application requires one – 7.1 per cent
  10. No social media presence – 1.9 per cent

Lee Biggins, founder and managing director of CV-Library, comments: “It can be all too easy to fire out a generic CV, and unfortunately, many candidates do not understand the importance of tweaking their profile for each different role they apply for. The job market is extremely competitive right now, and if job hunters want to stand-out from the crowd, they need to consider the recruiter scanning through their CV at the other end, and think about how their skills and experience will be viewed.”

The research compliments another study conducted by CV-Library in 2016, which found that recruiters believe that the following sections are most irrelevant on a CV: photos, jargon, hobbies, an outdated employment history and unnecessarily big words.

Biggins continues: “We often find that candidates will try to come across in a professional manner by using jargon or unnecessarily big words, when really, we just want to know what they’ve worked on previously and what they can bring to the table for their next role. While all recruitment professionals will want to see that the candidate is human and does enjoy activities outside of work, that doesn’t mean listing every hobby that they’ve ever done! The best CVs are the ones that are concise, have a short opening paragraph to introduce themselves, and are followed up with a clear layout demonstrating why they’re best suited for the role.”