PAYE umbrella contractors eager to take up new work placements might do well to heed the advice of CV expert Peter Panayotou, who founded the specialist CV-drafting consultancy, The Write Stuff.  Poor proofreading that leaves errors on a CV can make all the difference between securing a new placement and being discarded, he insists.

Firms appreciate close attention to detail, and a sloppily drafted CV will convey precisely the opposite impression.  Panatayou suggests that contractors and other job seekers should not simply proofread their CVs meticulously but also get someone else to read them through as well.  A fresh pair of eyes, he says, “will always pick up on what you’ve missed.”

He went on to say that, from an employer’s perspective, “it is important that you show that you have been thorough”.  Computer spellcheckers should not be relied upon, he continued, because they are no substitute for human eyes – numerous spelling howlers and grammatical errors can slip through automated spellcheckers unless job hunters exercise great care in compiling their CVs.

His comments are borne out by recent research on the incidence of spelling mistakes and grammatical blunders in CVs.  The study, by the recruitment agency IntaPeople, found that almost 30 per cent of the 600 CVs it sampled contained major gaffes.

Moral of the story?  As a contractor, you may have outstanding talents to contribute to the IT skills market, for example.  However, if you allow sloppy spelling and clunky grammar to spoil your CV, nobody will ever find out.

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