The average boss looks at a curriculum vitae for just three minutes while one in five make a decision on a candidate by gleaning it for under a minute, new research suggests.
Despite almost a quarter of candidates claiming they have excellent written communication skills, many of them fall foul of using worn clichés in their CVs, the survey of 2,000 from New College of the Humanities found.
The university-level college, founded by philosopher Professor AC Grayling, says nearly 500,000 graduates will flood the job market this month - but thousands will make silly mistakes on their CV, which in turn dampens their chances of becoming employed.
This is followed by a casual tone, such as using 'you guys' in email correspondence or signing off with 'cheers' to a prospective employer - as well as coming across as laid-back on the CV.
In third place is the use of jargon and clichés that a candidate on BBC show The Apprentice would be proud of, such as 'thinking outside the box' and stating perfectionism as your weakness.
Here are the top ten pet hates:
1. Typos and grammatical errors
2. Overly casual tone
3. Use of jargon and clichés
4. A CV more than two pages in length
5. Snazzy borders and backgrounds
6. Writing in the third person
7. Inclusion of clip art or emojis
8. The use of cringeworthy quotes
9. Unprofessional email address
10. Unconventional font
In terms of worn clichés, almost half of CVs typically state the person tends to 'work well independently,' and a third say they are a 'team player.'
The research identified the most over used CV phrases likely to put them off potential employees:
1. Can work independently
2. Hard worker
3. Works well under pressure
4. Good communicator
6. Team player
7. Good listener
8. Excellent written communication skills
10. Problem solver
The research shows that one in ten have been creative over length of employment and previous companies, while five per cent have bent the truth about previous positions and references.
Almost twice as many women lie about their hobbies and interests compared to men.
These CV catastrophes could explain why a third have applied for five roles without a response and one in ten have applied for more than 50 jobs and never heard back.
With that in mind, NCH has commissioned three internationally acclaimed artists to produce unique works of art that reimagine the CVs of its students and academics.
Swatee Jasoria, director of professional development at New College of the Humanities said: 'There is clearly an art to writing a great CV.
'And we want our students to stand out from the crowd where the competition for graduate jobs is still high despite a recovering economy.'