Could 'Achievement Amnesia' cost you your career?
73% of recruiters reject jobseekers who forget workplace achievements on CVs
London, 24th June 2016: "A failure to recall a history of workplace achievements on CVs is preventing people securing the jobs they want, and even leading some applicants to receive below market-rate salaries, according to research released today by iProfile."
The research, based on interviews with 1,000 jobseekers and 200 employers, showed that employers consider an up-to-date and relevant list of specific work-based achievements to be one of the most important factors in their recruitment decisions.
Three quarters (73%) said they have rejected candidates for interviews due to vague CVs with an absence of relevant achievements. And the majority of employers (51%) said that "were applicants to effectively sell their existing achievements on CVs, they could demand starting salaries of 5% or higher". Nearly a quarter (24%) said applicants could demand an increase of 15%. The latter represents an increase of over £3,300 on the average British salary of £22,000.
According to the research jobseekers tend to focus on listing general responsibilities rather than their own personal achievements on their resumes. It suggests that they are not necessarily lacking in achievements to include but, instead, are unable to recall them when it matters - a symptom it dubs 'Achievement Amnesia'.
It also shows that CVs are usually written in a rush, with 71% taking two hours or less to write it and 79% of applicants saying they only write CVs when actually looking for a position. As a result, a third (32%) said they weren't confident they could recall useful achievements more than six months old and nearly another third (28%) couldn't recall those more than 18 months old. Perhaps just as worryingly, the majority of candidates appear to spend a disproportionate amount of time making their CV stand out with creative designs (36%) - despite the fact most employers and recruitment agencies don’t think such embellishments are important.
Achievement Amnesia is a common - and potentially costly - problem, according to CV specialist, Karl Gregory, from iProfilejobs.co.uk: "Most people think a quirky CV style or generic responsibilities are what employers are looking for, but the research shows that actually the specific achievements of individuals are what make the difference. We work with some of the biggest recruiters in the UK and they tell us that candidates regularly undersell their achievements - addressing this issue could significantly boost people’s chances of getting through to the interview stage, as well as getting the salary they deserve."
The report argues that job seekers must begin keeping an ongoing record of achievements during the periods when they are not actively seeking work if they are to avoid underselling themselves when they begin interviewing. Gregory concludes: "There are now tools available online that let people record and structure their achievements as they happen so that your CV grows with you. They also allow you to keep track of all your professional training and qualifications so that people can be in the strongest negotiating position possible when they apply for vacancies. These tools also allow people to share this information quickly with potential employers in an online format that is welcomed."
A full version of "Underselling in CVs", published by iProfile and including tips on how to best structure your CV for maximum impact, is available to download from iProfile's Career Advice section.
Notes About iProfile iProfile is the dynamic profile for professionals that is rapidly replacing the traditional CV by increasing the chances of a candidate being selected for interview. It is the preferred CV template for many recruitment agencies, and is easy to set up and update. More secure then Word CV, you can control who sees your iProfile, and update as many or as few recruitment agencies, giving you complete control over the job-seeking process. It is also capable of providing you with feedback from recruiters and hiring managers, and ensuring that you are made aware of relevant job opportunities. Any updates made to an iProfile are instantly transmitted to the databases of all the iProfile-compatible recruitment companies ensuring they never hold an out-of-date copy. Over two million jobseekers already own an iProfile and this number is rising rapidly.