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May 2012 - Job seekers risking their chances due to jargon and errors in CVs

London, Monday 21 May 2012: Despite the tough job market, UK job seekers are making life harder for themselves by sending employers jargon-filled and poorly written CVs, according to a recent poll by Monster.co.uk.

Almost three quarters (71 per cent) of employers polled say they regularly see jargon or acronyms in CVs, and of these 43 per cent say this makes them less likely to consider an applicant for the role. With over half (54 per cent) of respondents saying they are regularly irritated by CV jargon and one in five saying it is confusing, job seekers could be putting themselves at a disadvantage by filling their CV with unnecessary waffle.

Many job seekers are also failing to proof-read their CVs, with 20 per cent of respondents stating that spelling and grammatical errors are their biggest CV bugbear. Lack of research and preparation is also an issue with over half (57 per cent) of employers saying they regularly receive CVs from candidates who don't understand the role.

Job seekers are also at risk of sending too much information to employers with many recruiters saying they frequently receive inappropriate photographs and unnecessary information such as height, weight and other personal details.

In terms of jargon, male job seekers are the worst offenders, with the majority (41 per cent) of employers agreeing that men use more jargon in their CV. Geographically, those who live in the Midlands use the most jargon, with half (50 per cent) of employers in the region saying they often come across corporate jargon in cover letters and CVs, compared to 41 per cent nationally. The research also shows that younger job seekers, between the ages of 22 and 30, are the most frequent offenders with 37 per cent of respondents saying this group uses the most jargon. This suggests they could be over-compensating for a lack of knowledge or experience.

"A CV acts like a shop window for job seekers; it's the first-impression an employer gets of your skills, interests and relevancy for the position and the company. Even the smallest of mistakes on a CV can result in it being discarded." says Michael Gentle, Head of Consumer Marketing at Monster.co.uk.

"Applying for jobs is a time-consuming process and to top it off there is a huge amount of competition for the roles available. Recruiters don't have a lot of time to read CVs in detail so it is crucial to make a good first impression."

“Some job seekers also seem to think that sending CVs and cover letters that are amusing and different will help them get noticed. It may be appropriate for some positions to be creative with your job application, but job seekers should ensure that they research the role and ensure that their CV is relevant before they apply.”

Most bizarre CV blunders revealed by respondents:

  • A CV from a candidate claiming they have experience in Arctic Warfare
  • An individual who went to great lengths to explain his interest and knowledge of origami
  • A CV written entirely in the third person
  • A suggestive picture of a scantily clad young lady (the role was a Foundry Maintenance Team Leader)
  • A CV listing 'achievements' that included "successfully putting daughter to bed over 100 times"
  • Inclusion of ear size measurement
  • A full CV written in text speak
  • A candidate stating they are "nice to children, animals and old people" in their covering letter
  • "Excellent upper body strength" listed as a skill - for a PR account executive role
  • A CV sent in a dirty, used and smelly tennis shoe, with a note saying, "does this mean I have my foot in the door?"

Top tips for writing a CV

  • Don't rely entirely on spell check when proofreading, always get a second pair of eyes to check over your CV and covering letter
  • Customise your CV for the job you’re applying for
  • Make sure you read through the job posting and make sure you are relevant for the role you are applying for
  • Avoid using jargon or acronyms
  • Don't send too much information – it’s always best to be succinct and to the point

If you would like to see some tips for writing a CV that will give you the edge, check out the Monster.co.uk advice section.

- ENDS -

Notes to editors

Research conducted by Monster Worldwide surveying 255 individuals responsible for recruitment.

For further information please contact:

Becky Potgieter or Sophie Howard
3 Monkeys Communications
020 7009 3100

About Monster UK

Founded in 1999, Monster is the leading provider of online careers and recruitment resources committed to connecting organisations with individuals.

Monster has expanded from its roots as a "job board" to a global provider of a full array of job seeking, career management, recruitment and talent management products and services. Monster is changing the way people think about work and helping both job seekers and employers actively improve their lives and their workforce performance with new technology, tools and practices.

For candidates, in addition to providing the most advanced job searching and matching solution, Monster offers personalised advice to guide individuals on a range of topics including choosing the right profession, crafting a winning CV, preparing for interview and dealing with issues in the workplace.

For employers looking to recruit the most qualified candidates, Monster offers a suite of leading products and technologies to meet employers' needs for recruitment as well as talent and career management.

At the heart of Monster's success is innovation. In 2010 Monster launched the most advanced way to match job seekers with employers' opportunities. Powered by Monster's 6Sense(TM) semantic search technology, Power CV Search will pinpoint ideal candidates that precisely match criteria set by hiring companies. Candidates also have access to the same powerful technology to find the jobs that best match their profile and requirements.
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