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Twitter Users Top Of The Pile For Job Interviews - 1st July 2010

UK's First Twitter CV Competition Launched (win an iPad)

Jobseekers must improve their CVs by making them more interesting, getting their point across quicker and broadening their range of vocabulary according to a new survey which revealed Twitter users write better résumés and are more likely to be shortlisted for jobs.

MyJobGroup.co.uk (www.MyJobGroup.co.uk), which boasts over 300 regional jobsites across the UK, and is the largest network of regional job boards, analysed 500 CVs from UK-based jobseekers and found repetition abound.

One-third (37%) used exactly the same opening phrase; while the three most popular first-line words are 'experience' (27.1%), 'skills' (23.2%) and, ironically, 'individual' (22.6%).

The company believes jobseekers who use Twitter are more likely to be shortlisted because they write interesting, eye-catching and succinct CV summaries which appeals to recruiters.

It is a view Professor Cary Cooper CBE, Distinguished Professor of Organisational Psychology and Health, Lancaster University Management School, agrees with. He said: "When reviewing CVs for the first time, employers may only ever see candidates' short summaries, so a jobseeker with a standard, dull or uninteresting personal synopsis is less likely to be shortlisted.

"If you have an original and interesting personal summary, you are more likely to catch the eye of the person reviewing the CVs, so you are more likely to make the shortlist and hence stand a better chance of landing the job you've applied for.

"Candidates who are innovative and novel in their use of language and identify themselves in a non-formulaic way are more likely to be people who use Twitter, or have their own blog. If you use telegraphic forms of communication already then your CV - and certainly your CV summary - is more likely to be snappy, interesting and, ultimately, attention-grabbing.

"Twitter users more readily think about, and use, clever key words and they're probably more expressive in an abridged style - the art of 'getting to the point' is not lost on people who Tweet."

Lee Fayer, Managing Director at MyJobGroup.co.uk, said: "CV writing is an art and with so many jobseekers hunting fewer roles, employment chances are improved with a well-written résumés.

"Like any first impression, those first few lines are crucial, so an interesting and memorable professional summary is key - people used to Tweeting do this better than most as they are regularly summarising longer prose into sharp, interesting copy."

Professor Cooper concluded: "The important thing is to think about how many people are actively looking for jobs at the moment - demand is significantly outstripping supply so in a highly competitive environment jobseekers need to create immediate recognition. The ones who do it best are more likely to be shortlisted and hence stand a better overall chance of landing a job."

The research also shows the average British CV uses a total of 607 words (4,255 characters) and the typical length of a professional summary is 125 characters, or 19 words, so the company has launched a Twitter competition to find the best 140-character CVs.

An iPad is up for grabs for the person who Tweets the best 140-character CV, either their own professional summary, or a spoof celebrity one of their choosing - to enter, see www.MyJobGroup.co.uk/TwiCV

Research Findings

The top ten most popular first words on a CV are:

  • 1. I am, I'm..." 37.9%
  • 2. "A highly/highly..." 6.9%
  • 3. "I have..." 5.6%
  • 4. "Hard working..." 5.2%
  • 5. "Experienced..." 4.9%
  • 6. "Confident..." 2.9%
  • =7 "I consider myself..." 2.6%
  • =7 "Enthusiastic..." 2.6%
  • =7 "Self-motivated..." 2.6%
  • 10. "A motivated: 7 2.3%
  • Other 26.5%

Source: MyJobGroup.co.uk

Professor Cooper added: "The use of 'I' this and 'I am' that on a CV is not a smart move, most notably because it doesn't position the candidate as a team player."

The top ten* most popular words used on a CV summary are:

  • 1. Experience 27.1%
  • 2. Skills 23.2%
  • 3. Individual 22.6%
  • 4. Person 17.3%
  • 5. Team 13.4%
  • 6. Years 13.1%
  • 7. Well 12.7%
  • 8. Enthusiastic 12.4%
  • =10 Communication 11.8%
  • =10 Motivate 11.8%

*The words 'work', 'working' and 'worked' were removed from this sample
Source: MyJobGroup.co.uk

For more information on MyJobGroup.co.uk services, please telephone 0845 017 6777 or visit www.myjobgroup.co.uk.