If you want employers to remember you for the right reasons, comb through your resume and cover letter for misspellings and other errors before hitting the “send” button, advises Lily Valetin, head of North American operations for the job search engine Adzuna.
Adzuna analyzed 92,989 American resumes in its database and found that 6 out of 10 contained at least one spelling error. Almost two-thirds (63.6%) had at least one error of any kind, 12,525 CVs (13.5%) contained five or more errors, and 1,378 (1.5%) had 20 or more errors .
“Your resume is always the first impression your potential new employer has of you,” Valetin pointed out. “Spelling errors, inconsistent employment history and missing information are all red flags for potential employers.”
Especially for CVs containing 20 or more spelling errors. Such negligence gives employers the impression, she said, that the candidate is not taking the process seriously and is not fully committed to learning about the job offer.
“The high number of errors reflects errors made by job seekers of all experience levels,” Valetin said. SHRM online.
“At any level, resume errors can leave an impression of carelessness and lack of attention to detail. While a generous hiring manager may ignore the odd misspelling in a job application for a ‘entry level, for more senior roles, an obvious spelling error or poor grammar could completely exclude a candidate from the hiring process,’ she said.
Top Resume Mistakes
Some of the most commonly misspelled words Adzuna found are:
- Training. This has often been incorrectly spelled as “formations”.
- Modeling. This was often misspelled with two d’s.
- Judgement. There shouldn’t be an “e” after the “g”.
- Words often followed British spelling. “Program” was incorrectly spelled instead of “program”, “organization” instead of “organization”, “honours” instead of “honours”, “behaviour” instead of “behaviour” and “surveys” instead of “surveys”.
- Skill set. This was often incorrectly spelled as a single word.
- Submission. This was often incorrectly spelled as “submission”.
Other commonly misspelled words include “invision”, “vendors” and “environment” as well as errors like not capitalizing such as describing someone’s fluency in “Spanish” instead of “Spanish”.
Other errors Adzuna found in the CVs analyzed included:
No personal summary. Almost half of CVs (48%) did not have a personal statement.
“Take the time to outline your professional accomplishments and career ambitions throughout your resume,” Valentin said in a news release about the results. Additionally, the personal statement is a good place to note your employment preferences, such as remote or hybrid schedules.
Gaps in work history. Thirty percent of resumes analyzed by Adzuna had unexplained gaps of two months or more.
According to one study, candidates with work interruptions were 45% less likely to land job interviews than those without. SHRM online reported in 2019.
“Job seekers should provide context for the reason for the gaps to help potential employers better understand their situation, which can be a good talking point for an interview or a note to include in a cover letter. “, said Valentin.
An inappropriate file name, such as “draft”, “V2”, “document”, or “untitled”. Ideally, the CV filename should include the candidate’s full name and the word “CV”, such as John Smith Resume. It helps the recruiter or hiring manager to locate the document quickly and easily.
A missing or invalid mailing address.
Too much or too little information.
“A common misconception among job seekers is that their resume format should remain static when in fact the format and length should vary based on years of experience,” Valentin said.
“CVs should give enough information to give a complete picture of a candidate’s work history, but should also be clear and concise.” A college graduate, she noted, should highlight academic achievements on their resume, “but GPAs are much less relevant to a job seeker with multiple years of experience.”
An invalid or missing phone number.
Excessive use of capital letters.
An invalid or missing email address.
“Candidates get used to being contacted by recruiters in different ways, not just by email, but [recruiters and hiring managers] the impression that an SMS in response to an application goes too far,” said Valentin.
“Job seekers should always include an email address and hiring managers should go to LinkedIn or a candidate’s application source to contact [him or her] before resorting to an SMS.”
Job seekers should be aware that outside of the United States and Europe, business communication via SMS and WhatsApp is common, particularly in Asia, and some global companies may default to contacting candidates in this way. , according to Valentin.
“Over time, this trend may become mainstream across America as well.”
Motivation letters: yes or no?
“The jury is out on whether or not the cover letter is more relevant to applying for a job,” Valentin acknowledged. “Some argue that applicant tracking systems negate the need for a formal cover letter, but I would argue that on the other end of that process is someone, just like you, looking to find the perfect candidate. for a particular post.
The letter gives job seekers the opportunity to tell their story, detail their experience and explain any gaps or inconsistencies in their resume.
“A candidate’s ability to humanize that point of connection can help them stand out from the crowd,” she added. “Why skip this step when it can be a simple way to add character to an app and potentially set it apart from someone whose skills and experience on paper might resemble theirs?”
Valentin considers cover letters a powerful tool and an important document to include in an application, noting that recruiters and HR professionals continue to request a PDF or Word document for their records.
“However, I recommend that job seekers update their LinkedIn profile to show an accurate description of their work experience, including when they changed jobs,” she said. “There have been many instances where recruiters contacted potential job seekers for a vacancy they were looking to fill after reviewing the person’s background and profile online.”
Other SHRM resources:
How to revamp your resume for today’s job market SHRM onlineJanuary 2022
Fine-tune your CV to make the best impression, SHRM onlineJanuary 2022
How to write a powerful and memorable HR CV, SHRM onlineJanuary 2022
How content and structure improve CV readability, SHRM onlineJune 2021 (includes template)
In resumes, font size matters, SHRM onlineJuly 2020
Proofreading of the final version of your CV, SHRM onlineJune 2020