'Achievement amnesia' causing applicants to undersell

A failure to recall a history of workplace achievements on CVs is preventing applicants from being offered the jobs they want, and even leading some to receive below market-rate salaries.

Based on interviews with 1,000 jobseekers and 200 employers, research by iProfile.org shows 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. Jobseekers tend to focus on listing general responsibilities rather than their own personal achievements on their resumés, the research claims. It also 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’.

Seventy-three per cent said they have "rejected candidates for interviews due to vague CVs with an absence of relevant achievements"; and over half of employers said that, ‘were applicants to effectively sell their existing achievements on CVs, they could demand starting salaries of 5 per cent or higher’. Nearly a quarter said applicants could demand an increase of 15 per cent. The latter represents an increase of over £3,300 on the average UK salary of £22,000.

It also shows that CVs are usually written in a rush, with 79 per cent of applicants saying they only write CVs when actually looking for a position; as a result, 32 per cent said they were not confident they could recall useful achievements more than six months old and 28 per cent couldn’t recall those more than 18 months old.

Further information: www.iProfile.org

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