With 400,000 graduates flooding the jobs market this year, 40% of employers are calling for candidates to be more creative on their CVs. So just how long does a candidate have to make an impression?
According to research by New College of the Humanities (NCH), most employers struggle to tell one CV from another. Here are some points raised which may make you think twice about the content and presentation of your own CV if you are to stand out:
– 73% of UK applicants using Times New Roman or Arial fonts
– 24% of applicants state that they have ‘excellent written communication skills’, 47% also claim to ‘work independently’ and 32% say they’re a ‘team player’.
– The average time taken by an employer to look at a CV is 3 minutes and 14 seconds. 62% do it in less than this. 20% of employers also acknowledge that they have discarded CVs before they’ve read to the end.
These have been identified by employer’s as the 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%)
In addition, 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 lied about previous positions and 5% about their references. 40% of UK employers would be more inclined to interview those using innovative design or video formats.
Suzanne Sherriff is an experienced Consultant in our Commercial Division — she has seen many CVs over the years! She comments on the above statistics, saying “The recruitment process is a two-way process. These statistics should encourage candidates to be more creative with their CVs but of course be honest at all times! As a professional agency, we always endeavour to look beyond the CV, meet the candidate and iron out any issues on their CV. We have the advantage of knowing both candidate and employer, so we can help to make better connections and forge a successful union. If a candidate has to fabricate elements of their CV to get an interview, it may be likely that the job is not right for them. In those cases, we can find better suited opportunities, where your CV will be welcomed and not discarded.”