Submitting a CV is usually the first step in the job application process and the first chance to impress a potential employer. But despite the high stakes, here at Adzuna Towers we frequently see CVs pitted with spelling errors and other mistakes.
We crunched the data to reveal the most common mistakes to avoid at all costs. A sloppy CV won’t stop you getting your dream job when you know what to watch out for!
More than 6 in 10 British CVs contain spelling mistakes
We analysed over 147,000 UK CVs uploaded to ValueMyCV in 2021 to highlight the most common errors made in job applications.
Only 55,341 of the 147,272 CVs analysed were spelling error free, meaning 62.4% of CVs contained at least one mistake. Over a third of the CVs analysed (50,291 CVs) contained 5 or more errors at 34.2%, while 3.4% (5,011 CVs) were truly error-riddled containing 20 or more spelling slip ups.
What are the spellings to watch out for? The three most commonly misspelt words on CVs are “organisation”, “modelling” and “behaviour”. “Judgement”, “transferable” and “liaising” also featured in the top ten.
Another frequent fail was using American spellings such as ‘analyze’ in place of British English. The moral of the story here is proof, proof, and proof again!
Table 1: The most misspelt words in British CVs
|Ranking||Most commonly misspelt words|
Beyond spelling errors
Beyond spelling errors, the most common CV mistake we’re seeing is jobseekers forgetting to include a personal summary outlining their career ambitions. Nearly 1 in 3 CVs (28.8%) lacked this level of detail.
Another common mistake is leaving gaps in employment history. Over a quarter of CVs (27.1%) contained unexplained gaps, which can ring alarm bells for recruiters. Meanwhile, 26.4% of jobseekers forgot to include a postal address on their CV, and 23.3% submitted CVs either too brief or too lengthy.
A surprisingly high proportion of jobseekers (5.5%) included an invalid email address or no email address at all on their CV, a mistake likely to lead to immediate disqualification from the hiring process.
Check out our complete guide to writing a great CV for more tips and guidance.
Table 2: Top 10 most common CV errors in the UK
|Ranking||Common CV mistakes|
|2||Lack of personal summary|
|3||Gaps in employment history|
|4||Missing or invalid postal address|
|5||CV too long or too short|
|6||Inappropriate file name|
|7||Invalid or omitted phone number|
|8||Invalid or omitted email address|
|10||Use of American spellings|
Londoners have the sloppiest CVs
Finally, we looked at the geographical breakdown of our data to reveal which region is most prone to making CV mistakes.
Busy Londoners are most prone to making mistakes on their CV, followed by jobseekers in the South East, Eastern England, and North West England. By contrast, jobseekers in Northern Ireland make the fewest CV mistakes, while those from the North East and Wales also proved more fastidious.
If you’re looking to perfect your applications then use our CV checker tool. ValueMyCV automatically checks CVs for common mistakes so you can get your CV battle ready and secure more interviews.