The basic mistakes Australians make on a CV which stop them getting hired

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An incredible number of jobs in Australia were created in 2017.

According to data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS), more than 400,000 Australians found employment last year, the second-largest increase over a 12 month period on record.

And given continued strength in leading labour market indicators such as job vacancies, it appears that strength will likely continue well into 2018.

However, there’s still a lot of competition for jobs right now.

The national unemployment rate sits at 5.5%, equating to 730,600 Australians who are currently looking for a job. Other indicators, such as labour force underemployment and underutilisation rates, also sit well above the levels prior to the global financial crisis nearly 10 years ago.

Put bluntly, there are still a lot of unemployed Aussies, or those in employment who would like to work more hours, competing for the available jobs.

Given that competition, it pays to make yourself stand out from the pack if you’re after a new job.

In most circumstances, that process starts with your curriculum vitae, or CV, for short.

It is, after all, what many employers look at first when evaluating your suitability.

There has been countless articles written on what makes a CV great. A simple Google search for “best curriculum vitae” returns about 63.6 million results, offering advice on everything from fonts to length and everything in between.

With so much, sometimes contradictory information out there, it’s understandable why anyone looking to create or update their CV would be a little confused.

In many circumstances where there’s an information overload, the simple things are often best.

According to new research from jobs website Adzuna, many Australians are making simple errors that limit their chances of finding new work.

After analysing 50,000 CVs recently submitted on its platform using its CV valuation tool, ValueMyCV, Adzuna found that 91% had simple errors that could easily stand between gaining an interview and being passed over for the position.

And when we say simple, we mean spelling mistakes, missing work history, incorrectly named files and CVs that read more like an autobiography rather than a short synopsis as to why they should be hired.

The vast majority of CVs analysed contained at least one spelling mistake or more, especially those job seekers in Western Australia.

Here, look.

Source: Adzuna

To Raife Watson, Adzuna Australia CEO — a man who has undoubtedly seen a few CVs — “spelling mistakes in a CV give the first impression that you are careless and do not have pride in your work”.

For those unwilling or unable to use a spellchecker, Watson says the most incorrectly spelled words include “curriculum”, “address”, “prioritise”, “liaise” and “business”.

Yes, “business”.

Outside of spelling, Watson says a third of job seekers have have a CV which is far too long.

“The optimal length of a CV is two to three pages,” he says.

“Many Australian’s go overboard with information and forget that a CV is a snapshot, a highlight reel of your skills and work history. Employers do not need to know about every aspect of your life.”

Watson says a similar proportion of CVs have an unexplained gap in their work history.

“The worst culprits are Queenslanders, where 35% of people have a gap in their work history,” he says.

Instead of making potential employers guess why you were out of work, Watson says the best approach is to be up-front.

“It is better to be completely transparent about gaps in your CV,” he says.

“If you spent two years travelling, there is no harm in including the information in your CV and is certainly preferable to unexplained periods of unemployment.”

Last but not least, Watson found that 12% of CVs had a file name that was not reflective of the candidates name, something he say makes it difficult for employers to search for your name a sea of others.

“A correctly formatted CV file name is SallySmithCV, ” he says, adding that “an incorrectly formatted CV file name is CV-Version123874”.

“This minor detail is significant because hiring managers receive scores of job applications every day and if they can not retrieve your CV by running a search with your full name as well as the words CV or resume, meaning there is every chance you will miss out on the job.”

If the advice sounds simple, that’s because it is – and all easily fixed.

Good luck.

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