Chris Stoakes

Chris Stoakes, business communication expert and author of Get To The Point: How To Write Well At Work

Almost 90 percent of job seekers plagiarise other people’s CVs in order to hide their own poor writing skills according to Marketing Minds.

A survey reveals that four out of five Britons admit to lifting templates from the internet to create their CVs as they lack the literacy competence to draft their own.

Under 30s make up the largest proportion in the ‘cut and paste’ generation who copy other’s work because they struggle “significantly” with written communication, with 89 percent admitting to copying web-based examples.

A poll of 993 British adults was commissioned by Marketing Minds as part of an ongoing research project into workplace communication.

The research found that 62 percent of those questioned described their communication skills as either ‘excellent’ or ‘above average’. Around 56 percent also said the same about their vocabulary.

Despite this most struggle to write an adequate CV and 81 percent said they have a “tendency to ramble”, 91 percent say they use over-complicated language, or construct sentences that fail to convey the intended message, and 68 percent say much of what they write doesn’t make sense.

86 percent agree oral and written communication is essential in the modern workplace and list ‘communication skills’ in their résumés. Exactly half say their writing style has not improved since they were in school, and 20 percent resort to using slang or text speech in important documents.

Christopher Stoakes, a business communication expert and author of Get To The Point: How To Write Well At Work, says:

“The research confirms what employers have been saying for some time, that today’s fresh graduates can’t write well in the workplace.

“But it also explains why employers find it so hard to determine who, among applicants, can and can’t write well.

“The results of this poll reflect a worrying trend, especially among young people, to rely on the internet to draft important documents,”

Over two-thirds (69%) admit to struggling to communicate in written form and 78 percent find it easier to communicate verbally.

67 percent have previously asked for help when drafting their CVs and a quarter even admitted to hiring a professional to write their CV for them.

Stoakes adds:

“Business people don’t have time for long documents, long sentences or long words.

“Writing well is a matter of knowing the order in which to put things. It’s about getting the structure right, once you know and understand exactly what it is you are trying to convey.

“You can use simple language to convey complex messages, but many new recruits get the structure wrong and then overlay it with complex language because they think that’s the language professionals are meant to use.”