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Accountants cite bad spelling, formatting and grammar as worst CV offences

A survey of accountants has found that the majority rate CVs as average with 80 per cent of recruiters in the industry dismissing a candidate’s chances immediately due to a badly prepared curriculum vitae.

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SPELLING, FORMATTING, AND grammar have been cited as some of the worst errors on CVs according to a survey of over 200 accountants involved in recruitment.

The survey by the Institute of Certified Public Accountants in Ireland (CPA) shows that only 11 per cent of CVs are rated as “very good” with the majority rated as average.

More than 80 per cent of those surveyed said they dismissed candidates entirely from the selection process due to badly prepared CVs with 40 per cent of respondents citing spelling as the worst offence followed by formatting (26 per cent) and grammar (25 per cent).

The accountants involved in recruitment were also critical of interview skills with only 1 per cent of those surveyed saying that the overall quality of candidates’ interview skills was “excellent”.

The majority said that interview skills were “good”, 40 per cent said they were “average” with only 7 per cent of respondents saying candidates’ interview skills were “very good”.

The survey’s respondents said that communication skills were vital with nearly a quarter of respondents identifying good communication skills as the most impressive attribute a candidate can present at an interview.

This was followed by preparation, knowledge of the company and role, and the ability to sell themselves.

Fifty-eight per cent of respondents said that punctuality for a job interview was “very important” with ability to answer questions and being prepared identified as “very important” by 57 per cent and 56 per cent of the over 200 respondents respectively.

Ciara Murphy, a marketing executive with the CPA Institute, said that it was important that job seekers get the basic parts of an application right.

“At a minimum a CV needs to be clear, concise, accurate and well written or the candidate simply won’t progress to the next stage in the application process,” she said.

“If a candidate secures an interview, it is essential that they can communicate well, and demonstrate a clear understanding of the role offered and an interest in the company.

“A candidate should also be able to articulate why they, with their unique experience and skill set, are the person for the job.”

The CPA is currently running a series of seminars on ways to enhance your interview skills in association with Morgan McKinley, the next of which will take place at the Clarion Hotel on Lapps Quay in Cork on Thursday, 7 June at 6pm. More information is available here.

Poll: Have you ever lied on your CV?

Read: 24 ways to ruin your chances during a job interview

Read: What recruiters look at during the 6 seconds they spend on your CV

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Hugh O'Connell

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