The latest thinking, news and events from the world of Recruitment

Nearly Half of UK Workers Can’t Write a Stand out CV


New research from leading independent job site, CV-Library, has revealed that nearly half (48.1%) of UK workers do not know how to write a stand out CV that would boost their chance of an interview; with 12.5% admitting that they’ve lied on their CV to get a job.

The study, which surveyed over 3,000 UK workers, found that nearly a quarter (23.8%) of candidates do not know how to tailor their CV and make it relevant to different job roles, potentially scuppering their chances of securing their dream job. Other key findings include:

  • Nearly a quarter (22.4%) stated that they believe people looking for their first job should lie to help them get their foot in the door
  • …While 16.4% admitted that they wouldn’t be able to write a good CV
  • AND, almost a third (31%) said that they were not given enough insight to confidently write their CV when it came to applying for their first job

Lee Biggins, founder and managing director of CV-Library, comments:

“It’s worrying that many job hunters are making mistakes because they do not have the necessary insight to embark on a confident job search. In order to get ahead and nab the best jobs out there, candidates need to do all they can to get noticed and recruiters should be on hand to help. As an industry, it is important that we help to educate candidates on the best ways to write and tailor each application, as well as creating a stand out, truthful, CV that will boost their chances of finding the right job.”

Furthermore, despite a staggering 93.7% believing that more job-hunting skills, such as application writing and interviewing, should be taught at school, a third (34.2%) of those asked said that their college or university did not provide advice on CV writing, while nearly 1 in 5 (18.3%) admitted that they’d taught themselves to write their first CV. When asked what could be a solution to the problem, workers cited that more guidance from recruiters (6.8%) and employers (5.4%) could help.

Biggins continues:

“It’s clear that more direction is needed to help candidates feel confident in their job search, and our research suggests that recruiters and employers bear some of the responsibility in ensuring that all candidates have the basic skills required for securing a job. We all know how difficult it can be to get on the career ladder, but with a little help throughout their education and into their working lives, we can ensure that candidates embark on a happy and successful job hunt.”

For more information on what candidates want from recruiters, download CV-Library’s whitepaper here.

Learn more about CV-Library at:


CV-Library is one of the UK’s largest online job sites, with the UK’s biggest database of over 12m CVs. The company was founded in 2000 as a response to Lee’s identification of a market niche. As a young carpet fitter at the time struggling to find work, Lee saw a need for an easy-to-use job board benefiting both job hunters and recruiters. With a £9k loan and help from a web developer, the CV-Library website was built. Lee’s raw passion and hands-on marketing strategies lifted the business off the ground and it is this that continues to push his company to new heights.

The business is now one of the fastest growing websites in the country. The team is expanding rapidly, now employing over 200 staff. It has also launched sister website, Resume Library, in the US, where the company is set to expand and take the brand global over the coming years. Lee puts the reason for his success down to working incredibly hard, loving what he does and a strong desire to make the business the best it can be.

Lee has received over 50 awards and accolades to date and was last year recognised as Entrepreneur of the Year. In April 2015 CV-Library was also ranked as number 49 in the Sunday Times Profit Track 100.


Related Articles