We’ve all heard the stories about job interviews gone wrong, like the eager young applicant who brought a sandwich to the interview, because, after all, it was lunch time. But a candidate’s first impression begins long before the interview. It starts with cover letter and CV or resume, which often are far from blemish-free.

BBC Capital asked recruiters, hiring managers, and career coaches to share some of the most egregious errors they see in applications — and how to fix them.

Cut and paste isn’t your friend

Matthew Lanier, a Boston-based corporate recruiter at technology staffing firm Eliassen Group, recalls the resume of an applicant in her twenties, who had mostly retail and customer-service experience. So he was surprised when lower down on the CV, he found an executive-level position with a major finance company and dates of employment spanning almost 10 years. Turns out the applicant had searched professional-looking resumes online, found one she really liked, and cut and pasted her own experiences over it. But, she mistakenly left some of the other person’s work history and personal contact information on the document. READ MORE AT THE BBC

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