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The Warning Signs You Are Missing In That Candidate’s CV

We’ve written recently about how the pressure of operating in a skills-short marketplace can sometimes lead to recruiters not doing their due diligence with candidates.  

Less qualified or suitable candidates can sometimes slip through the net in these circumstances, bringing professional embarrassment on you when the hiring manager or client is disappointed with the candidate quality, or if the hire doesn’t work out. 

In the last blog, we shared some interview questions to ensure the candidate’s quality before putting them forward to the client. In this week’s blog, we’re following the same theme, but applying it to certain warning signs, you should be looking out for on candidate CVs. 

It’s so easy just to skim CVs, alighting on those skills that you know the client needs, but there’s often a whole subtext in the details if you just know where to look.  

 

1. The CV has not been tailored to the role.  

 

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Receiving a general CV, no matter how impressive, indicates two things:  

1. That the candidate has not made any extra effort to get this role, and therefore may not be enthusiastic or particularly driven to succeed in winning the position. This lack of effort (whether driven by apathy or laziness) may extend into their everyday working style.
 

2. They are probably applying for many roles with that same CV. A scattergun approach like this indicates that the candidate doesn’t really care about the role or company in question and that the chances they will accept an offer may be significantly diminished.  

It is not much to expect for a candidate to amend their CV to reflect the requirements mentioned in the job spec. Those who don’t bother are often not worth considering. 

 

2. The CV provides no proof of achievements. 

Many candidates make the mistake of listing all their skills, responsibilities, and job titles, but forget the most important bit: their achievements.  

You want to be reading about the proof that they ran a team successfully, not just a statement that they ran a team. What did they achieve in that role? What were the tangible results? 

Note that this is often just poor CV-writing skills to blame, rather than an indicator the person hasn’t achieved, so if you see potential in the candidate, be sure to probe for further detail and ask them to rewrite their CV to reflect their accomplishments.  

 

3. The CV has patchy work history. 

 

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It’s common and absolutely fine for people to change careers or take time off to travel or have children. What may indicate a problem is: 

1. Time off that is unaccounted for—were they long-term unemployed, and why?  

2. Inconsistent dates—why does their LinkedIn profile say they were at a job for 14 months, when the dates on their CV say 2 years? 

3. Lots of job-switching—particularly into different careers entirely, indicating they have trouble settling in one job or field. 

Many gaps can be explained away satisfactorily, but it’s your job to spot them and query them further. Otherwise, you might look a bit foolish in front of the hiring manager who does spot them in the interview! 

 

4. Poor formatting, spelling, and grammar. 

A CV should be well formatted with no spelling or grammar mistakes firstly for clarity, but there’s a deeper meaning here too, as it reflects how much care the candidate has shown in their application.  

This goes to their keenness for the role, but also their suitability. If the candidate has stated that they have proficiency in the Microsoft Office or Acrobat suites but have turned in a poorly formatted CV, you have reason to call their claim into question.  

Additionally, if there are spelling or grammar mistakes in the CV and the role requires a lot of communication like email or report writing, the person is probably not right for the role.  

 

5. The CV is too long. 

 

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And no, this one isn’t just because recruiters dread reading CVs that are as long as War and Peace!  

An overly long CV (more than 2 pages, 3 at absolute most) shows that either the candidate struggles to recognise what is salient information, or perhaps hasn’t cared enough to cut their CV down, having just added a paragraph each time they’ve finished up in a job. Either way, it’s not a great indicator of the caliber of the candidate.  

If the candidate is applying for a technical role, an overly long CV doesn’t matter as much, but if it’s a role that requires written communication, this mistake could rule the candidate out.  

 

Until next time,  

Cheryl 

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£25000 - 35000 + uncapped commission   Read more

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£40000 - 50000 + commission - City

(MK578)   Read more

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$60000 - 80000 + commission - New York,   Read more

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£30000 -   Read more

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£30000- 35000 + commission -   Read more

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£28000 -36000 + commission - West   Read more

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£32000 - £45000 + commission   Read more

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£50000 + commission - City

(LC568)   Read more

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Up to £80000 - West End

(CW567)   Read more

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£28000- 35000 - City

(LC566)   Read more

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£28000 - £35000 + commission -   Read more

Recruitment Consultant-Sales & Marketing into Fashion

£28000 - 40000 - West London

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£25000 - 35000 + uncapped commission   Read more

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25000 - 33000 + commission - West   Read more

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30000 - 40000 + commission   Read more

Recruitment Consultant - Change Management

£30000 - 40000 + commission - City

(LC560)   Read more

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£30000 - 40000 + commission -   Read more

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30000 - 40000 +   Read more

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£30k - 45k + 20% commission - City

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£30 - 35k + guaranteed commission of £1.5k   Read more

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£35-50k + quarterly commission -   Read more

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£30000 - 40000 + commission +   Read more

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£30000-40000 + uncapped commission - West End

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28000 - 40000 + uncapped commission -   Read more

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28000 - 32000 + uncapped commission - City

(LC550)   Read more

Manager/Snr Manager - Change Management

£60000 + commission + benefits - City

(LC549)   Read more

Senior Recruitment Consultant - Accounting and Finance

£32000 - 40000 + commission +   Read more

Senior Recruitment Consultant - Compliance

£32000 - 40000 + commission - City

(LC547)   Read more

Senior Resourcer - Public Sector

£35000 (OTE £45000) - City

(CW546)   Read more

Recruitment Consultant - Criminal Justice, Public Sector

£30000+ commission - City

(CW545)   Read more

Senior Consultant - Asset Management

28000 - 40000 - City

(LC544)   Read more

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£35000 - 45000 + uncapped commission -   Read more

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20000 - 25000 + uncapped commission - City

(MK542)   Read more

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£35000 - 50000 + monthly uncapped   Read more

Divisional Manager - FM & Maintenance

£40000 - 50000 + monthly commission +   Read more

Recruitment Consultant - HR

£30000 - 40000 (OTE £60k in year one) -   Read more

Associate Director - Interim Accounting and Finance

£60000 + package - West End

(LC538)   Read more

Senior Recruitment Consultant - Interim Finance into Media

£28000 - 40000 + commission   Read more

Recruitment Consultant - Qualified Finance into Media

£32000 - 45000 + uncapped commission   Read more

Recruitment Consultant - Construction

£25000 - 35000 + uncapped commission - Stevenage

(MK534)   Read more

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30000 - 35000 + uncapped commission   Read more

Senior Consultant - Trades and Labour

£30000 - 40000 + commission - City

(MK532)   Read more

Recruitment Consultant - Compliance

£28000 - 40000 + commission + benefits - City

(LC531)   Read more

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£25000 - 30000 + uncapped commission   Read more

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£25000 - 38000 + commission + benefits - City

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Recruitment Consultant - Banking Ops, Temp desk

£28000 - 35000 + commission -   Read more

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£25000 -30000 + uncapped commission - City

(MK527)   Read more

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£30000 - 4000 + uncapped commission - City

(MK526)   Read more

Search Consultant - Construction, Infrastructure & Property

£45000 - 70000 + uncapped commission   Read more

Recruitment Consultant - Accounting and Finance

26000 - 32000 + commission - West   Read more

Recruitment Consultant - Procurement

£28000 - 36000 + commission - West End

(LC523)   Read more

Recruitment Consultant - Finance into Insurance

£26000 - £32000 + commission - City

(LC522)   Read more

Senior Recruitment Consultant - Digital Marketing

£30000 - 40000 + commission - Holborn

(CW521)   Read more

Divisional Director - Professional Services

£75000 (OTE year one £110000) - City

(CW520)   Read more

Recruitment Consultant - Transactional Finance, temp

£25000 - 32000 + commission - West   Read more

Senior Consultant - Business Change into Legal

£40000 + uncapped commission - City   Read more

Recruitment Consultant - Accounting & Finance into Legal

£28000 - 33000 + commission   Read more

Recruitment Consultant - Accounting into Arts & Charities

28000 - 32000 + commission   Read more

Branch Manager - Built Environment

£40 - 60000 + commission - London

(MK514)   Read more

Principal Consultant - Compliance

£40000 + commission with zero threshold - City

(LC512)   Read more

Senior Recruitment Consultant - Finance & Accounting

£28000 - 40000 + commission -   Read more

Dual Desk Recruitment Consultant - White Collar Construction

£3000 - 35000 + commission   Read more

Executive Search Consultant - Construction & Property

£60000 + monthly uncapped commission -   Read more

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£30000-35000 + monthly uncapped commission - City

(MK508)   Read more

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£30000 - £32000 + commission - City

(LC507)   Read more

Recruitment Consultant - Secretarial, Temp

£40000 + uncapped commission - City

(CW506)   Read more

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£50000 + package - City

(LC505)   Read more

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£34000 - 40000 + uncapped commission - City

(CW504)   Read more

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£30000 - £35000 + uncapped commission - City   Read more

Interim Recruitment Consultant-Health, Safety & Environment

£30,000 - £40,000 + uncapped commission   Read more

Recruitment Consultant - Management Consultancy

£25000 - 30000 + commission - Fulham

(LC501)   Read more

Recruitment Consultant - HR

£35000 - £45000 + commission - Birmingham

(CW500)   Read more

Recruitment Consultant - Interim Accounting & Finance

£45000 + commission - London

(LC499)   Read more

Recruitment Consultant - Finance into NFP

£40000 + commission + benefits - West   Read more

Recruitment Manager - Operations

£50000 + commission - City

(LC497)   Read more

Recruitment Consultant - Finance into Housing

£30,000 + commission + benefits - London   Read more

Recruitment Consultant - Finance into Music, Media & Entertainment

27000 - 38000 +   Read more

Recruitment Consultant - Corporate Treasury

c£40,000 + commission + bens - City of   Read more

Recruitment Consultant - Luxembourg market

Flexible + commission - Surrey

(LC493)   Read more

Recruitment Consultant-Tax into Practice

£25000-40000 + commission + bens - City of London

(LC492)   Read more

Recruitment Consultant - Interim Finance into NFP

c£40,000 + commission + bens -   Read more

Recruitment Consultant - Change & Transformation

c£30,000 + commission + bens - City   Read more

Recruitment Consultant - Tax into Financial Services

c£40,000 + commission + bens -   Read more

Recruitment Consultant - FM & Estates Professionals

£30k-35k + uncapped commission -   Read more

Manager/Team Leader, Interim Accounting & Finance

£35000- 45,000 + commission + opp for   Read more

Recruitment Consultant- Civil/Structural Engineering

£30k-40k + monthly uncapped commission - City of London

(MK483)   Read more

Temp/Freelance/Contract Recruitment Consultant

£30k-35k + monthly uncapped commission - City of London

(MK482)   Read more

Senior Recruitment Consultant- Transactional Finance

£25000 -36000 + commission - London EC2

(LC481)   Read more

Billing Recruitment Manager-Luxury Fashion & Retail

£50,000 + personal & team commission -   Read more

Recruitment Consultant - M&E Design

£25k - £35k + uncapped commission monthly -   Read more

Recruitment Consultant - Procurement

£24k - 32k + commission - London - City

(LC478)   Read more

Recruitment Consultant - Education

£32k + commission from 12.5% - 30% - London   Read more

Executive Search Consultant - Construction & Property

£40,000-60,000 - London - West End

(MK476)   Read more

Recruitment Consultant - White Collar Construction

30k – 50k basic plus monthly uncapped   Read more

Recruitment Consultant - Accounting & Finance into Media

£26000 - 35000 + commission   Read more

Recruitment Consultant - Construction Trades & Labour

£25k- 35k + monthly uncapped commission   Read more

Recruitment Consultant - White Collar Construction

£31000 - 36000 + commission and zero   Read more

Recruitment Consultant-Fundraising

£32000 + commision at up to 30% - City of London

(CW471)   Read more

Recruitment Consultant - Finance into Financial Services

£26000 - 38000 + commission -   Read more

Recruitment Consultant - Architecture & Interior Design

£25000 - 35000 + Uncapped Commission   Read more

Team Leader - Catering & Hospitality

£50,000 + commission - West London

(CW468)   Read more

Recruitment Consultant - Finance into the Third Sector

25000 - 32000 + commission   Read more

Recruitment Consultant - Marketing into FMCG

£40,000 + uncapped commission - Central London

(CW466)   Read more

Recruitment Consultant - Facilities Management

£28,000 - £30,000 + monthly uncapped commission -   Read more

Recruitment Delivery Manager - Non Billing

£35,000-40,000 + override OTE c£80,000 -   Read more

Recruitment Consultant - HR

£35000 + uncapped commission - Central London

(CW462)   Read more

Senior Recruitment Consultant - Accounting & Finance

£28000 - £36000 + commission -   Read more

Senior Consultant - HR

£40,000 plus monthly commission at 25% - Central   Read more

Permanent Recruitment Consultant

£28000 - £30000 + uncapped Commission - City of London

(CW459)   Read more

Recruitment Manager - Finance

£35000 - 50000 - London EC4

(LC 458)   Read more

Secretarial Recruitment Consultant

Competitive Salary + Commission - London W1

(CW457)   Read more

Recruitment Consultant - Compliance & Data Protection

Competitive Basic Salary + OTE -   Read more

Recruitment Manager - DTP

£40,000+Commission+Benefits - City of London

(CW454)   Read more

Senior Recruitment Consultant – Business Change & Transformation

£30,000 - £40,000 +   Read more

Recruitment Consultant - Accounting and Finance into Charity

£28 - 35,000 + uncapped   Read more

Talent Manager

£30000 - £40000 - OTE £50000 - London

(CW451)   Read more

Recruitment Consultant-Accounting into Legal

Competitive Salary + Commission + Bens - Central London

(LC   Read more

Contracts Consultant, Financial Services

Competitive basic + commission + bonus - Liverpool Street

(LC448)   Read more

Accounting & Finance into Commerce & Industry

Competitive basic + uncapped commission +   Read more

Recruitment Consultant - Transactional Finance

Competitive Salary + Commission - City of London

(LC446)   Read more

Recruitment Manager – Luxury Fashion and Retail Head Office Division

50k basic   Read more

Recruitment Consultant - Transactional Finance

£28,000 - 40,000 + commission - London City

(LC444)   Read more

Recruitment Consultant – Payroll & Bens

Competitive salary + OTE + benefits   Read more

Recruitment Manager, Accounting & Finance, Commerce Perm

Competitive salary + OTE   Read more

Billing Recruitment Manager – Transactional/Part Qualified Finance team

Competitive Salary +   Read more

Secretarial Consultant

£30-40K - West End

(CW440)   Read more

Commercial/ secretarial recruitment

£30-40K - London- West End

(CW439)   Read more

PR and Communications Recruitment Consultant

£25,000- £30,000 - North London

(CW438)   Read more

Recruitment Consultant - Tax into Financial Services

Competitive Salary, OTE and   Read more

Senior Manager or Associate Director- HR desk recruiting into the FS market

Competitive   Read more

Senior consultant- dual HR desk in a creative agency

Competitive salary + market   Read more

Secretarial Temporary Recruiter

£30k plus monthly uncapped commission - West End

(CW 423)   Read more

HR Permanent Consultant

£30k - £50k basic depending on experience, commission monthly 20%   Read more

Search Consultant – Tax

Competitive Salary + Commission + Bonus - City of   Read more

Search Consultant – Qualified Finance

Competitive Salary + Commission + Bonus - City   Read more

Recruitment Consultant - Construction / Civils / M&E

£30k - London City

(MK 416)   Read more

Principal Consultant – Internal Audit into Insurance

Competitive salary + commission + benefits   Read more

Senior HR Perm Consultant

£40k basic uncapped commission monthly - London

(CW 413)   Read more

Consultant / Senior Consultant – Property

Up to £35k plus uncapped commission -   Read more

Consultant / Senior Consultant – Civils / Infrastructure

Up to £30k plus uncapped   Read more

Consultant / Senior Consultant - Construction Fit-out

Up to £35k plus uncapped commission   Read more

HR Perm Consultant

35k ote 80k - West End, London

(CW28)   Read more

Team Leader – Construction Build

£40k plus - London West End

(MK 407)   Read more

Principal Consultant/Team Leader – CFO Practice, Private Equity

Competitive Salary + Bonus   Read more

Recruitment Consultant – Asset Management

Salary £35,000 + Commission + Benefits - City   Read more

Recruitment Consultant - Treasury

Competitive Basic Salary + Commission + Benefits - Central   Read more

Temporary Consultant - Secretarial into Professional and Financial Services

£21-28k + competitive uncapped   Read more

Permanent Consultant - Secretarial into Creative Industries

£25-28k + competitive uncapped commission -   Read more

Temporary Recruitment Consultant - Secretarial into Professional and Financial Services

£23-28k + competitive   Read more

Temporary Consultant - Secretarial into Creative Industries

£25-28k + competitive uncapped commission -   Read more

Senior Recruitment Consultant – Tax into Practice, Perm desk

Attractive Salary + Excellent   Read more

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