Adzuna study: Every third CV contains a spelling mistake

Posted on March 30, 2015 by

Here at Adzuna Towers, we know a thing or two about job ads and CVs. We also like data. A lot. So, we got our thinking caps on to debate the humble CV, and specifically, what can go wrong. This is our conclusion:Spelling-Errors-589x279

We just concluded a study of over 3,000 UK CVs and we found that almost one third of CVs in the UK contain at least one spelling mistake.

Of those containing errors, 54% contained just one misspelt word, 46% featuring two or more misnomers. The highest number of spelling errors in a British CV was a whopping 23 mistakes, with ‘responsibility’ being named the most common misspelling. Jobseekers in the West Midlands were the most likely make mistakes in their CV, the study found.

imagesConducted in March, the research analysed 3,000 CVs across the UK to highlight the most common errors made in job applications. Each CV was parsed using semantic text-mining technology to extract full work history, years of  experience, contact details, and key skills. Location and keyword analysis highlighted trends in regional applications, and common skills promoted by candidates.

The three most common spelling mistakes in the study included “responsibility”, “liaise” and “university”. “Communication”, “experience” and “management” also featured in the top ten.

Although spelling errors were the most common mistakes made in job applications, the research also highlighted 30% of CVs contained a gap in employment history, a notorious bugbear for recruiting managers. Lack of a personal summary, omission of a valid address and concerns over CV length rounded out the top five most common issues found in the study.

images (1)Comparatively few made mistakes regarding email addresses or inappropriate file names, highlighting our nation’s digital development. Applicants in today’s internet age are three times more likely to omit or make an error in their postal address than in an email address or mobile number. Just 135 of the CVs analysed fell victim to inappropriate file names, the lowest level of any type of error.

 Understanding the language of CVs

A further analysis of the common language used in job applications via ValueMyCV revealed the most common traits emphasised by applicants included motivation, communication skills and technological knowhow. Candidates were far less likely to boast of analytical abilities, creative talent or negotiation knowhow.

Local lapses

A study of the geographic distribution of the country’s most error-ridden CVs showed candidates in the West Midlands and North West to be the worst offenders, with Yorkshire residents coming in at third place. Famously busy Londoners and applicants in the North East of the nation completed the top five.

Table 1: Top 10 most common CV errors in the UK

Ranking Common CV Mistakes
1 Misspelt words
2 Gaps in employment history
3 Lack of personal summary
4 Missing or invalid postal address
5 CV too long or too short
6 Invalid or omitted phone number
7 Invalid or omitted email address
8 Inappropriate file name
9 Missing spaces in CV text
10 Use of American spellings

Table 2: The most misspelt words in British CVs

Ranking Most Commonly Misspelt Words
1 Responsibility
2 Liaise
3 University
4 Experience
5 Speciality
6 Communication
7 Achievement
8 Management
9 Environment
10 Successful

Table 3: Top 5 regions for job application mistakes

Ranking Region with most CV errors
1 West Midlands
2 North West
3 Yorkshire & The Humber
4 London
5 North East

These mistakes may seem insignificant, but they can be the difference between on the shortlist or in the bin. So, next time, before you email a CV over for your dream job, remember to check for those typos. We at Adzuna wish you best of luck.

What not to wear to an interview

Posted on March 18, 2015 by

Although the day of a dark suit being the only interview attire to consider may be coming to a close, the rules of candidate clothing are far from obsolete – although they are changing. Read on to discover the do’s and don’ts of interview fashion in today’s entrepreneur-heavy jobs marketplace.

shutterstock_133716440-1With office spaces and workplace culture evolving at an alarming rate over the last few decades.  Many work environments are now flat in hierarchy, colourful in outlook and casual in dress code. Selecting your attire to match the industry you are applying to is a vital part of interview preparation, as one size definitely no longer fits all.  Financial consultancies and tech start ups are world’s apart when it comes to wardrobe expectations.

A few fashion faux pas possibilities transcend the divide though, and Team Adzuna have compiled a must read list of wardrobe disasters to avoid, so you can dress up your qualifications to their best advantage, without going gaga.

Interview fashion don’ts:

1. Denim

download

Even the trendiest of tech start ups hope for staff who aim for the stars, and while nice jeans may be great for day-to-day work wear in some companies, interviews are your chance to shine, so leave your lucky jeans for another day.

2. Colours

aqua-by-aqua-floyd-dressColours play an important role in creating a great first impression, so need to be considered with care.  Blue is the most popular colour for an interview followed by black for those crucial management positions. Oranges and yellows are generally to be avoided and vivid shades should be handled with care. While catching an interviewers attention can be a positive step, your clothes should not overshadow your qualifications and experience.

3. Revealing clothes

originalWith the focus firmly on your professional development, it’s time to ensure attention is on your CV – so chose outfits with care.If you are unsure of the company culture – layers can be your saviour! For ladies this could mean picking necklines and cuts that flatter, not distract. For guys, it is time to ditch that graphic tee and choose a button-down to wear under your blazer or formal jacket. Your outfit must be comfortable for you as well as your interviewer.

4. Perfumes

download (1)Everyone wants to smell their best at a time when first impressions matter most, but remember to go easy on those colognes and perfumes. You never know your interviewer may have an allergy or reservations to some smells. Also, you don’t want to showcase a perfume brand when you should be highlighting your personal brand.

5. Footwear

 1422452_437709432997096_2089409775_nWe’ve heard that with the right shoes, anyone can conquer the world, so this is the time to cast trainers and sandals aside, even if the working atmosphere is generally relaxed.

For ladies: comfort is as important as pretty plodders in this instance – opt for tried and tested footwear you can walk and stand in easily. Tired tootsies are no help at all in an interview scenario.

And this last bit is especially for the lads – don’t wear a pair of shoes that are a different design and colour to your belt, particularly if you are wearing a formal or smart casual outfit.

We at Adzuna wish you success for all your job interviews. A little bit of homework on the basics can make a huge difference to your prospects of landing your dream job. Make sure your clothing is in accordance with the company culture, but also be prepared to err slightly on the side of caution. Best of luck!

 

Adzuna Job Market Report – February 2015

Posted on March 5, 2015 by

Advertised salaries perk up after stagnant quarter

The average advertised salary grew in January, ending three months of consecutive stagnation, according to the latest UK Job Market Report from Adzuna.co.uk.

After flatlining in Q4 2014, the average advertised salary has shown signs of improvement in January with a 0.1% month-on-month increase to £34,589. This small monthly uptick is backed up by a healthy 8.1% year-on-year improvement. The average advertised pay packet has contained an extra £2,477 compared to January 2014, according to real wage data adjusted for CPI inflation.

But the expected January jobs boom did not materialise. In fact, there was actually a minor reduction in advertised vacancies, falling 1.6% month-on-month to 952,859 in January. In previous years, January has seen an increase, (0.9% in 2013, 3.1% in 2014), making the downturn at the opening of 2015 even more surprising.

This decrease in the number of advertised job vacancies has driven up the average number of jobseekers per vacancy for the first time in a year. There were 0.9 jobseekers for every advertised position in the UK in January, up from 0.85 in December. This is the largest such increase since January 2013. However, the number of benefit claimants in January 2015 has halved (53%) from where it stood two years ago, falling from 1,581,838 to just 852,934 according to the latest labour market statistics from the ONS.

Table 1: 

December 2014

January 2015

Monthly

Change

Annual change from January 2014

UK Vacancies

968,273

952,859

-1.6%

+24.0%

Jobseekers per Vacancy

0.85

0.90

+5.8%

-44.4%

Av. Advertised UK Salary

£34,548

  £34,589

+0.1%

+8.1%

Normally we would expect a January jobs boom to kick off the New Year, but there are actually fewer advertised vacancies than we saw in December 2014. But it’s not all bad news – strong performance across 2014 has reduced the jobs deficit, leaving us firmly anchored with a quarter more vacancies than we had at the beginning of last year. Likewise, a slight increase in the ratio of jobseekers to available vacancies is still a far cry from the previous state of the labour market. You only have to look at reductions in the number of out-of-work benefit claimants which have halved from January 2013 to see that.

 in the UK, We’re continuing to see real wage growth off the back of low inflation. It’s not just a technicality, either – after three months of wage growth stagnation across Q4 2014, we’re seeing the average advertised pay packet start to rise in the New Year. For all these encouraging signs for 2015, this is just the opening salvo. There are still more people looking for paid employment, but many lack the skills to gain entry into the available professions.

Salary growth slowdown in the North West

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The North West of England has fallen back from the head of the pack in terms of average advertised salary increases. The North East (14.0%), Yorkshire and The Humber (13.5%), and Eastern England (12.4%) are now vying for pole position as salary increases in the North West (9.2%), previously among the fastest growing, slowed to just above the UK average. Wales (1.7%) and Scotland (2.0%) are both lagging behind.

Table 2: Biggest improvers – UK regions by average salary

Region

Average Salary

Salary % 12 Month Change

North East England

£30,658

14.0%

Yorkshire and The Humber

£31,789

13.5%

Eastern England

£32,469

12.4%

South West England

£30,816

11.7%

West Midlands

£31,463

10.7%

East Midlands

£30,637

10.3%

North West England

£32,067

9.4%

UK

£34,589

9.2%

South East England

£32,786

8.7%

London

£42,008

6.9%

Northern Ireland

£29,766

5.8%

Scotland

£33,254

2.0%

Wales

£29,942

1.7%

 

Apprenticeships

Adzuna’s figures show that there are currently 16,107 apprenticeships in the UK, with engineering being the largest provider of opportunities. However, these schemes are not concentrated in the areas which are struggling the most. London and the South East together hold 28% of all apprenticeships, despite comparatively low competition for jobs and below-average salary growth in both areas. The combination of high wage growth and high competition – a primarily Northern phenomenon – is indicative of employers attempting to attract skilled candidates from other regions.

 Andrew Hunter, co-founder of Adzuna, comments: “People want to work, but many lack the skills to match the available jobs in their areas. This is particularly true in the North, and yet apprenticeships have gravitated towards the comparatively successful South. It’s a bit of a chicken and egg situation: which came first, the apprenticeships or the successful companies willing to train up skilled workers?

“Apprenticeships are the kind of investment that take some time to pay dividends. It’s understandable that during tough times, employers weren’t thinking this far ahead – the pressures of keeping employees in work and companies afloat overrides the kind of long-term thinking exhibited by apprenticeships. It’s time for companies in the North to make themselves heard. Their flourishing manufacturing, trade and construction sectors are building the foundations for tomorrow’s economy. With help, they’ll be able to rise to the challenge of securing the future of Britain’s skilled labour market too.” 

Trade & Construction jobs back with the top performers

Though Administration (20.5%) and Customer Services (17.4%) maintained their lead in terms of year-on-year salary improvements, perhaps more significant is the return of Trade & Construction Jobs (12.1%) to the top-five leaderboard. The average advertised salary in this industry in the UK was £39,156 in January, up from £34,936 in January 2014.

Table 3: Biggest improvers – job sectors by average salary

Job Sector

Average salary

Salary % 12 Month Change

Administration Jobs

£23,597

20.5%

Customer Service Jobs

£21,709

17.4%

Manufacturing Jobs

£31,250

16.3%

Property Jobs

£30,978

14.3%

Trade & Construction Jobs

£39,156

12.1%

Trade & Construction jobs are back up there with the big-hitters. They led the salary turnaround as we came out of recession, and the continued high performance of this core sector is a boon for the economy as a whole. It’s promising, but we have to remember that these are advertised salaries and not payslips themselves.

As much as it signals success for the Trade & Construction industry, the year-on-year increase also displays the desire to fill these roles with qualified professionals – a need that isn’t being met at the moment. Apprenticeships are the logical route around this problem, combining a clear path to employment with the ability to direct young people towards the skills and experience that are needed.

Writer’s block for Creative & Design Jobs

Only the Energy Oil & Gas (-3.9%) and Creative & Design (-0.1%) sectors experienced wage decreases in January compared to the same month last year. Average advertised salaries in these sectors were £45,494 and £30,313 respectively.

Table 4: Worst improvers – job sectors by average salaries

Job Sector

 Average salary

Salary % 12 Month Change

Energy, Oil & Gas Jobs

£45,494

-3.9%

 Creative & Design Jobs

£30,313

-0.6%

Legal Jobs

£45,508

0.1%

PR, Marketing & Advertising Jobs

£34,963

0.3%

 Retail Jobs

£27,886

1.3%

The Energy, Oil & Gas crisis has deepened in January as the price of crude oil remains low and doesn’t seem set to rise any time soon. Creative and Design jobs are a new entrant onto the list of most stagnant job areas. It’s a surprise, given statistics from the Department for Culture, Media & Sport which show a burgeoning sector growing at three times the rate of the wider UK economy. The sector might be growing, but salaries are struggling to keep up – as is often the case with careers in the arts, these positions are simply oversubscribed. Nevertheless, this slight slip in salaries is hardly cause for alarm in the face of booming growth for the sector as a whole.

All past Adzuna Job Reports can be viewed here. If you have any questions about Adzuna data, please contact us: our resident data geeks will be happy to help.