CV buzzwords | 85% of candidate CVs don't include 2019's top skill

85% of candidate CVs don't include 2019's top skill

Looking for a new job can be tough.

Compiling a new CV that tries to second-guess what recruiters and hiring managers are looking for can be equally tough.

However, a role’s job description is usually a helpful starting point for detailing the required skillsets.

Subsequently, candidates are often quick to base their CVs around these requirements to increase their chances of bagging a job.

And, while many people think that they are listing the most desirable skills to attract employers, just 15% of Brits are including this 2019 critical CV skill. This means a huge proportion of candidates are failing to satisfy employer needs.

New research conducted by Michael Page has named ‘adaptability’ as the most wanted skill of 2019, however, it seems that a whopping 85% are failing to include this on their CVs.

The study found that less than half of the 2,000 workers polled viewed adaptability as a skill that they have themselves, while even less than 15% admitted promoting this highly desired trait on their CVs.

But, perhaps the reluctance to include this skill on a CV is down to common confusion of its definition?

According to, adaptability is defined as an ability for an individual to alter themselves and respond to changing environments. “Adaptability shows the ability to learn from experience and improves the fitness of the learner as a competitor,” the definition states.

Nick Kirk, UK Managing Director at Michael Page, anticipates the January jobs market to be incredibly busy - particularly with huge activity in latter months of 2018 which saw one in 40 workers seeking new work.

Kirk added: “As adaptability is often a hidden skill, candidates should leave their comfort zones and try new things, to showcase the skill that will help them get ahead in their search for a new job.

“As January is one of the most competitive times for both clients and candidates, it becomes even more vital to stand out during this busy period."

“Job seekers would certainly benefit from communicating how adaptable they are during the application process, to promote the qualities that employers’ value most and better align with their needs,” he said.

According to the survey, the vast majority (96%) of respondents agreed that the current employment climate demands more skills than ever before.

Despite this, just nine per cent strongly agreed that they are aware of their skills competencies and just six per cent know how to highlight their desirable skillsets to prospective employers.

Kirk explained that their research highlighted a potential disconnect between an employer’s expectations and a candidate’s self-belief.

Additionally, 32% of people are still unaware of which skills employers are looking for which presses the need for employers to be articulate about their candidate requirements.

“We know that employers are increasingly looking for specific skillsets in candidates. It’s why, at Michael Page, we are committed to helping our candidates hone and articulate their skillsets in a way that makes them stand out in a very congested market. The demand for more skills also demonstrates how adaptability will be an incredibly powerful skill for candidates to identify in 2019,” he added.

According to Monster jobsite, there are an array of desirable traits that candidates should be keen to note on their CVs most of the key skills required fall into three categories:

  1. Transferable skills – This includes literary competencies, computer skills and commercial and deadline success.

  2. Job-related skills – For example, if you work as a nurse, it is clear that you have many transferable job-related skills. This includes traits such as a caring character, organisation and accuracy.

  3. Adaptive skills – To create a good CV, personal statement or cover letter, adaptive skills can be listed in work experience too. These traits include: team working, loyalty, positivity, creativity, adaptability, and taking ownership of problems.

Be the first to comment.

You are currently previewing this article.

This is the last preview available to you for the next 30 days.

To access more news, features, columns and opinions every day, create a free myGrapevine account.