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Bad grammar and a limp handshake: the pet peeves of recruiters!

23/02/15 - 14:29



Reed have released a new article after surveying over 300 recruiters about their biggest recruitment turn-offs and exactly what they’re looking out for when considering a candidate.



Out of the recruiters that were surveyed, almost half of them said that aside from qualifications and experience, presentation was the most important aspect to consider in a CV.

Good formatting and suitable length were also highlighted by most hiring managers as essential, which suggested that even the best-written CVs can be let down by bad presentation.

91% of the recruiters surveyed also said that a word document of 2-3 pages was a suitable length.


Spelling and grammar

The survey also revealed that over 50% of recruiters felt that bad spelling and grammar was their number one application turn-off.

This is very common for recruiters as this shows a lack of time and effort spent re-reading a CV before sending it.


Generic CV phrases

Hiring managers have to read through a vast amount of CVs. This means that they often come across the same, generic phrases that candidates use which don’t really portray their real personality. This can be incredibly frustrating for managers and can risk your CV being rejected!

The survey revealed that ‘Socialising with friends’ and ‘Good team player’ were the most used and the phrases that irritated the hiring manager the most.


Being late

‘42% of recruiters highlighted arriving late as their number one interview irritation.’

Being late for an interview should be avoided at all costs! Employers have little time to waste so a prospective candidate turning up late to an interview can really set them back, aside from making the candidate look unreliable too.

In addition to this, the survey also exposed lack of preparation for an interview as a pet peeve. Always be prepared for an interview and research the company well.



A weak handshake and negative body language was another key issue that hiring managers noted. In any meeting or interview setting it’s advisable to have a strong, confident handshake along with positive and inviting body language. 


For more information on Reed’s report click on the link below: