20% of recruiters make decision on cv in less than a minute

One in five recruiters makes a decision on a candidate’s resume in less than 60 seconds while the average time spent looking at a cv is only three minutes and 14 seconds, according to a research study.

Two puzzle pieces


New research from New College of the Humanities shows that a fifth of employers have discarded a CV before getting to the end. It identifies the top 10 CV hates by employers in the UK:

  1. Typos and grammatical errors, for example, knowing ‘there’, from ‘their’ and ‘they’re’ and ‘your’ from ‘you’re’
  2. An overly casual tone, for example, knowing whether it’s ever appropriate to use ‘you guys’ in email correspondence or sign off with ‘cheers’ to a prospective employer
  3. Use of jargon and clichés, for example, ‘thinking outside the box’ and stating perfectionism as your weakness
  4. A CV more than two pages in length
  5. Snazzy borders and backgrounds
  6. Writing in the third person
  7. Inclusion of clip art or emojis
  8. The use of cringeworthy quotes
  9. An unprofessional email address
  10. Unconventional font

The research found many applicants use cliches, for instance, almost half claim to ‘work well independently’, whilst a third say they’re a ‘team player’.

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

  1. Can work independently
  2. Hard worker
  3. Works well under pressure
  4. Good communicator
  5. Enthusiastic
  6. Team player
  7. Good listener
  8. Excellent written communication skills
  9. Proactive
  10. Problem solver

One in eight candidates have applied for jobs with a typo riddled CV and nearly one in ten have been creative with the truth about length of employment at previous companies; one in 20 have bent the truth about their previous position and a similar number have even lied about their references. The study shows almost twice as many women (11%) lie about their hobbies and interests compared to men (6%).

A third have applied for five roles without a response and one in 10 people have applied for more than 50 jobs and never heard back.

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