CVs that claim to be able to take a ‘helicopter view,’ be ‘results-orientated’ or are capable of ‘shifting the paradigm’ are 72 percent less likely to get candidates through to interview or to secure a job because they contain so much jargon.

The research, undertaken by O2, forms part of the company’s Think Big programme, which is designed to help young people build their skills and employability and the gap between education and the workplace.

O2 found that one third of employers spend a minute or less reading each CV they receive and making snap judgments as they read. They say that over-use of jargon, spelling or grammar errors or over-designed CVs mean they will immediately reject a candidate’s application.

The company has identified the top ten worst pieces of management speak that crop up on resumes. The research asked those involved in recruitment at UK companies to pick out the worst pieces of jargon and then rank them based on their (over) use.

The worst pieces of CV jargon

“Able to take a helicopter view” (23%)

“Shifting the paradigm” (18%)

“Blue sky thinking” (14%)

“Out-of-the-box thinking” (13%)

“Results-orientated” (7%)

“Road-mapping” (5%)

“Strong interpersonal skills” (5%)

“Leveraging my skills” (5%)

“Critical thinker” (4%)

“Dynamic team player” (4%)






Robert joined the HRreview editorial team in October 2015. After graduating from the University of Salford in 2009 with a BA in Politics, Robert has spent several years working in print and online journalism in Manchester and London. In the past he has been part of editorial teams at Flux Magazine, Mondo*Arc Magazine and The Marine Professional.