Bland, predictable and poorly written CVs discarded

Interesting views from recruitment specialists providing feedback on how they react to CVs which are poorly written. We totally agree with the frustration at bland and commonly used phrases such as “team player” – they dont help you stand out, and surely everyone should be, and thus claim to be a team player. However the requirement from employers/recruiters for candidates to stand out by being creative, needs to be treated with caution. So no crazy fonts and visual designs please. Remember – use your past expereince and achievements to make you stand out. They will be hiring you for the results you will bring, based on examples of your past. Clearly communicated evidenced past outcomes are your most powerful sales tool. Examples of successful team work will convince in this area, without you simply stating you are a team player. Show them, rather than tell them!

Anyway his is what they have to say:

The average amount of time that is spent looking at a candidate’s CV has been revealed. And it seems they don’t have long to make an impression. With 400,000 graduates flooding the jobs market this year, 40% of employers are calling for candidates to be more creative on their CVs.

However, according to research by New College of the Humanities (NCH), the majority of employers find it impossible to tell CVs apart, with approximately 73% of Britons using Times New Roman or Arial fonts. Almost a quarter (24%) of applicants claim they have excellent written communication skills, with many using clichés in their CVs. Nearly half (47%) also claim to ‘work independtely’ and 32% say they’re a ‘team player’.

As a result, NCH results show that the average time taken to look at a CV is three minutes and 14 seconds, with 62% doing it in less than this. It also found that 20% of employers have discarded a CV before they’ve finished reading it.

Speaking exclusively to Recruitment Grapevine, Swatee Jasoria, the Director of Professional Developement at NCH explains why this may be the case.

“These clichés often appear in the job descriptions that are written by managers and recruiters, which naturally results in keen graduates tailoring their language to reflect that used by the recruiter.  One way to eliminate the use of these clichés in CVs is to eliminate them from job descriptions and advertisements.”

The research also identified employer’s top 10 most over used CV phrases likely to put them off potential employees:

1) Can work independently (47%)

2) Hard worker (42%)

3) Works well under pressure (39%)

4) Good communicator (36%)

5) Enthusiastic (35%)

6) Team player (32%)

7) Good listener (28%)

8) Excellent written communication skills (24%)

9) Proactive (22%)

10) Problem solver (19%)

Moreover,12% have applied for jobs with typos on their CV and one in ten (8%) have fabricated the truth about the length of employment at previous companies. 5% have also lied about previous positions and 5% about their references. The research also shows that almost twice as many women (11%) lie about their hobbies compared to men (6%).

Jasoria added: “The recruitment process is two-sided; it is about a recruiter finding the right candidate for the job, and the graduate finding the right job for them. If a graduate has to lie on, or fabricate elements of, their CV to get an interview, then the job is not right for them.”

These statistics encourage candidates to be more creative with their CVs. It shows that 40% of UK employers would be more inclined to interview those using innovative design or video formats.

Article found here

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