As students return to university or prepare for their first Fresher’s, many are preparing CVs and application forms to enter the student workplace. In light of this, a recent study has unveiled the ten phrases that bother employers the most, some of which are so common that many will be guilty of using them before.
The research, published last week, emphasises how employers and business owners are bored of reading tired clichés and overused buzzwords in job applications, and any CV littered with these taboo phrases will immediately put them off hiring the candidate.
Some of the most annoying phrases listed were: “I can work independently”, “I’m a team player” and “I’m a hard worker”.
“I can work well as part of a team or independently” said every CV ever written
— Turns (@Turnererer) April 23, 2015
my cv has a dirty great blaring typo right in the same paragraph where it says I have excellent attention to detail
— Leah (@flvral) September 18, 2015
Using a casual tone in your job application, such as signing off an email with ‘cheers’, is likely to infuriate 50 percent of employers.
It is also a good idea to ignore that niggling temptation to add an emoji to your CV, since 42 percent, or four in ten employers reported that they hate them.
I can’t believe that 52% of employers don’t mind emoji on a CV. That would result in instant binning for me. https://t.co/2vzR1JU1MZ
— Ranty Man (@ranty_man) September 18, 2015
If your email address features a strange nickname or joke it might be worth setting up a new one before entering the job scene, because the research has shown that employers get irritated by email addresses that appear ‘unprofessional’.
The study also demonstrated how a surprising number of applicants are willing to lie and write misleading information when typing their CV.
The study of 2,000 adults found that women are much more likely to lie about their hobbies than men, and that one in 12, that’s eight percent of participants, had added on years to the amount of time they’ve worked at previous companies.
Furthermore, one in 20, that’s five percent of participants, had exaggerated the truth regarding their previous position and an additional five percent had lied about their references.
“Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy.” – Just four of the lies on my cv.
— Sixth Form Poet (@sixth_formpoet) September 19, 2015
The Phrases that Hack Off Employers
1. “I’m a hard worker”
2. “I work well under pressure”
3. “I can work independently”
4. “I’m a team player”
5. “I am a problem solver”
6. “Good communicator”
7. “I’m proactive”
8. “I am a good listener”
9. “I’m enthusiastic”
10. “Excellent written communication skills”
The biggest lie on my cv is “excellent communication skills”
— Horea: SWEET GIRL (@ohmysweetgirl3) August 26, 2015
Only one fifth of employers have the patience to finish reading a CV
– Grammatical and typing errors cause the most stress for employers
– Four in ten despise the use of emojis and quotes that are cliché
– The use of a casual tone and signing off with ‘cheers’ enrages 50 percent of employers
These findings inform jobseekers of what they shouldn’t do, but what exactly should they do to stand the best chance of employment?
Surprisingly, just 13 percent of employers claimed to be irritated by CVs that included a picture, with the majority reporting they were perfectly willing to accept a CV featuring the candidate’s image. Furthermore, only 26 percent said they were irritated by CVs that were too short.
Trying to update my cv is so long. I have too much to say
— koko (@greengiantKlaud) September 17, 2015
This research suggests that even when a CVs structure and content responds to the majority of preferences, it remains near impossible to impress everyone.
To make the situation even more complex, the percentages of findings change when the gender of senior decision maker, as well as the size of the organisation, are taken into consideration.
According to the survey, women get more annoyed than men when they receive a CV that is too short (28 percent women, 25 percent men), and men were more annoyed when they received a CV that was too long (49 percent men, 37 percent women).
We also have to be cautious with the length of our conversations. You have to make sure it is neither too long nor too short.
— PushCV (@Push_CV) September 18, 2015
Men were also reported to be much more affected than women when irrelevant experience or education is listed on a CV (25 percent men, 21 percent women).
When this information is considered, a CV should be constructed with the beneficiary firmly in mind, and it is always best to incorporate what the majority would prefer as no matter what you write, there is no ‘best way’ to please everyone.
Andrew Falconer, director of Careers & Employability and GSM London told goingtouniversity.org: “This survey confirms that it’s essential to get the basics right.
— ulrich seega (@USeega) December 11, 2014
“Qualifications and experience count but if you don’t present yourself professionally it could be all or nothing. Employers are looking for succinct, targeted information that helps them make a decision.”
Image via Shutterstock.