First 12 words candidates say make or break the interview

Article Source: Recruitment Grapevine

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 independently 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 Development 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.

About Aditi Sharma

Hi, I am Aditi, currently working as Sr. Recruitment Specialist with Rezoomex at Pune. I am passionate about technology hiring and writing blogs related to Hiring Practices. Follow my latest thoughts on Twitter @aditi_sha26

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