Career Testing
Career Testing
Career Testing
CVS / NOV. 06, 2013
version 4, draft 4

Why Your CV Ends Up In The Shredder

Be honest. When was the last time you checked your CV to make sure it was totally up to speed – that is, doubled checked to make sure it contained all the elements employers really look out for (and, more importantly, checked that it didn't contain all the things they hate).

If your answer is "not for a while", the data below should make for interesting reading.

While all employers will take a dim view of the most common CV error – spelling and grammatical mistakes – new research out this week reveals where exactly you stand with other errors depending on where you are in the world. For the research finds that hirers in different countries have very different tolerances to CV mistakes.

For instance, submitting a CV with a typo annoys hiring managers in France the most, with 68% of them saying they’d dismiss a CV instantly – more than any other country. However, in India, only 28% of hirers would dismiss this out of hand (the figure is 47% for hirers in the UK and 58% amongst those in America).

More important to Indian hirers, it seems, is gleaning a sense that the CV they are reading has been personalised to the job that applicants are applying to. In this respect 45% said they would ignore CVs that appeared to be generic – second only to China – at a whopping 71%.

The Chinese are the most insistent on applicants using their own words on a CV (rather than cutting and pasting from the job description). Some 65% of Chinese employers say they will automatically dismiss CVs where evidence of mass copying looks likely.

Some countries seem to fit national stereotypes too. In Germany, which prizes process and methodology, it’s perhaps no surprise that employers here rate a covering letter more than other nations. Here, 39% of employers say they will reject a CV that doesn’t come with this important piece of extra paper. In India – an emerging skills-based economy, managers there most covet the list of skills people have on their CVs.

The full results can be seen below:


Country                                     % of CVs dismissed because of


                        Typos           Too              Copying         Lack              No Covering

                                            Generic         Ad                 of Skills        Letter

France           68%                39%                23%                n/a                  24%

Italy              65%                39%                41%                37%                8%

Brazil            67%                38%                54%                32%                9%

USA              58%                37%                32%                35%                13%

China            56%                71%                65%                36%                9%

Germany       52%                39%                24%                44%                39%

Russia          49%                35%                48%                55%                3%

UK                 47%                42%                40%                40%                24%

Japan             34%                31%                41%                7%                  6%

India             28%                45%                42%                56%                20%


While the data above is not an excuse for you to continue to have errors in your CVs that you now think have a good chance of being overlooked, they do at least reveal what is important to different cultures.And some might say this is important information to know, for getting in tune with who you are applying to is always half the battle!

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