New research reveals that the majority of adults in the UK (55%) feel short-changed when it comes to their CV’s depiction of their whole range of skills, while nearly one third admit to having lied on or embellished their CV to boost their chances of getting a job.
According to three quarters of working adults, employers’ current assessments of candidates are based almost entirely on cognitive skills – those reflected through academic qualifications and previous experience – rather than taking a holistic assessment of applicants’ skills over time or in the softer skill areas of communication, team-working and management.
Only one in five people surveyed felt being a team player and communication skills were top priorities for employers at interview, but were crucial in fulfilling roles, while a mere three per cent said management experience was a top priority for bosses.
The extensive study of over 1200 working adults in the UK is being launched tomorrow by the Chartered Institute of Educational Assessors (CIEA), the body dedicated to improving the skills of all those involved in assessment.
Graham Herbert, Deputy Head of the CIEA, said: “It is worrying that nearly one third of our survey base felt they had to supplement the truth to meet employers’ assessment criteria.
“Unfortunately, we live in a society where an individual’s perceived worth is almost entirely linked to cognitive skills – in other words, those skills reflected through their academic qualifications and experience. While those are very valuable measures of potential ability, they do not give the full picture.
“In an increasingly challenging operating environment, it is vital that when making assessments employers don’t miss a trick and develop ways of recognising communication, team-working and management skills to ensure they get the best and most suitable person for the job.
“Some of the world’s biggest success stories may have been written off if academic excellence and previous experience were the only assessment criteria. We only have to look at the likes of Alexander Graham Bell and Walt Disney to see that cognitive skills are not the only marker of ability.”
Herbert continued: “Similarly, with the CBI predicting 3 million unemployed by 2010, candidates need to ensure they are not selling themselves short by focussing their CVs solely on the cognitive skills reflected through academic results and experience.
“They need to put themselves in the shoes of the prospective employer assessing the applicant and really communicate their strengths and passion for the role, as well as list their academic successes and relevant experience.”
The CIEA is a professional body dedicated to improving the assessment skill levels of everyone involved in educational assessment – from senior examiners, moderators and markers to individuals with an interest in or responsibility for assessment in primary schools, secondary schools, colleges, universities, training centres and other educational organisations.
Launched in May 2006, the CIEA has worked to develop the status of assessors, demonstrating how their evaluations of a students’ performance are essential to the teaching strategies employed and the progression of the student as they monitor their continuous assessments.