1. Illogical CV presentation
There are basic tips you should follow to ensure your CV is up to scratch.
Make sure your CV follows the basic professional template. As a general rule your CV should not exceed 3 pages. Keep it short and sweet (where you worked in 1992 is probably no longer relevant).
Ensure you include current contact information, including email and mobile at the very least. Also make sure you have voicemail set up on your mobile so recruiters can leave a message if they can’t get hold of you.
2. Horrendous spelling and grammar
Reed’s research found that 50% of recruiters list this as their biggest pet peeve and a quick poll of our consultants confirmed this.
Recruiters see HUNDREDS of CVs a day, so if yours demonstrates poor attention to detail and you haven’t made the effort to correct simple errors, you don’t stand a good chance of making the cut, especially for executive level roles.
3. Socialising is not a hobby!
The act of socialising is not in itself a hobby, so do not list it as one. As the work-life balance becomes increasingly harder to achieve, more people are struggling with this section.
Here is your opportunity to showcase who you are outside of work whilst still conveying some key skills.
Good examples include:
4. Tardiness or no-shows at interviews
Despite the increasingly busy schedules of many professionals today, arriving late to an interview (either with a recruiter or even worse, an employer) is not something that has become more acceptable.
The interviewer does not care if your car broke down, or there were tube delays, or you couldn’t find the building – all of your excuses are invalid if you had tested your route previously, timed your arrival for 10 minutes early and allowed time for unexpected circumstances.
If you have planned ahead and are unlucky enough to experience an unforeseen delay make sure you call ahead to provide the interviewer with your new ETA – they have other responsibilities to attend to, none of which include waiting for you to turn up.
Further, give the recruiter as much notice as possible if you can no longer attend an interview. If you have found another position, call to update them on your situation. Last-minute interview drop-outs damage both the recruiter-candidate relationship and recruiter-employer relationship - no one wins.
5. A limp handshake
Yes, it seems this old favourite is still quite a pet peeve of many recruiters. For candidates looking for management or executive level roles, this is even more important.
Your handshake says a lot about you and a limp handshake can indicate that you may be nervous, unsure, intimidated, unprofessional or not committed to the interview, role or company.
6. Poor personal hygiene
Ok, so interviews are stressful and nerve-racking. You might have rushed to arrive on time or sweated up a storm in your suit on the tube. Unfortunately, poor personal hygiene in interviews is inexcusable.
Arrive 10-15 minutes early to ensure you have enough time to visit the bathroom and freshen up. Comb your hair, reapply deodorant (not too much) and allow yourself time to calm down and relax.
As recruiters, we try our best to help you get the job. By taking note of these pet peeves you will build a strong relationship with your recruitment consultant and stand a much better chance of being put forward for roles.