National Career Service aims to tackle poor CV writing

Research among advisers from the National Careers Service has unearthed significantly poor quality CV writing from job applicants. Almost 80 per cent of advisers have said that the most common mistake people make is to send a generic CV to employers while two-thirds (66 per cent) of advisers also said that this mistake was the one most likely to stop a candidate being put forward for an interview.

Meanwhile, research among the nation’s job seekers reveals a quarter (24 per cent) of the people questioned admitted to not having tailored their CVs to jobs in the past, with 40 per cent of unemployed people saying that not tailoring a CV to specific job requirements was a frequent mistake they made.

“Our advisers report a real careers void when it comes to writing CVs,” comments Joe Billington, Director of the National Careers Service. “People know that they are making mistakes, but not spending enough time on making sure their CV is fit for purpose.

“A CV is an applicant’s shop window and it’s vital that people spend at least an hour a week keeping their CV up-to-date and tailoring it for each application. With the right advice and support anyone can turn their CV from a careers void into a careers victory.”

Jennifer Kneafsey, Careers Adviser at the National Careers Service, added: “CV writing can be lonely and hard, in particular for those affected by unemployment or redundancy. We know that many unemployed people need help with their CVs and careers advisers each deal with up to 50 CVs on a weekly basis.”

In response to the problem of poorly written CVs, the National Careers Service has launched a new dedicated hour of CV support on Twitter and Facebook – dubbed #cvoclock – from 1 to 2pm every Monday, the most common time of the week for people to work on their CVs, according to the research.

“#cvoclock will support, encourage and bring people together on Twitter and Facebook each Monday between 1pm and 2pm to dedicate an hour to their CVs,” says Jennifer Kneafsey.

Lisa Crawford, Head of Recruitment at HSS Hire commented: “It does not surprise us that the most common CV mistakes careers advisers encounter are generic CVs which are not tailored to the position the candidate applies for. Unfortunately, this is something that we see on many applications we receive. We welcome the CV O’Clock initiative to encourage more people to improve their CVs and help them be more successful in securing employment.”

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