Are you ‘best of breed’? Hiring managers aren’t interested – survey

14 Mar 2014

‘Best of breed’, ‘go-getter’ and ‘think outside the box’ are the worst terms to include on a CV because they don’t convey real information, an online CareerBuilder survey suggests.

Harris Poll surveyed 2,201 US hiring managers and human resource professionals across industries and company sizes from 6 November-2 December, and found the term ‘best of breed’ grates on the nerves of 38pc of respondents, ‘go-getter’ annoys 27pc, and ‘think outside the box’ will make 26pc of respondents roll their eyes.

Job-seekers shouldn’t even think of using the terms ‘synergy’ and ‘go-to person’ (disliked by 22pc of respondents) or ‘value add’ and ‘thought leadership’ (which are frowned upon by 16pc), either.

Terms hiring managers like to see on CVs

Rosemary Haefner, vice-president of human resources at CareerBuilder, reveals what hiring managers do like.

“Hiring managers prefer strong action words that define specific experience, skills and accomplishments,” Haefner said.

“Subjective terms and clichés are seen as negative because they don’t convey real information. For instance, don’t say you are ‘results-driven’, show the employer your actual results.”

What’s more, the survey reveals 17pc of respondents spend less than 30 seconds, on average, reading each CV, whereas 68pc spend less than two minutes reading the documents.

There are terms on a CV that hiring managers and human resource professionals do regard positively, the survey also reveals.

More than half (52pc) of respondents like ‘achieved’, 48pc would like to see ‘improved’ on a CV, ‘trained/mentored’ goes down well with 47pc, and ‘managed’ caught the attention of 44pc of respondents.

The poll had a margin of 2.09 percentage points with a 95pc probability, according to CareerBuilder.

Destroying document image via Shutterstock

Tina Costanza
By Tina Costanza

Tina Costanza was a journalist and sub-editor at Silicon Republic. She came to Ireland from Canada, where she had held senior editorial positions at daily newspapers in Ottawa and Toronto. When she wasn’t saving dangling participles, she was training for 10K races or satisfying a craving for scones.

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