The Perfect CV Doesn’t Need Your Life Story

What To Put On Your CVI reviewed a CV recently for a client and was intrigued to see this in the first paragraph of their personal profile:

My wife is a dog breeder and specializes in Chihuahuas and Maltese breeds, I have a Great Pyrenees Mountain dog which makes for an interesting Canine dynamic in the house.

No doubt this person feels that this information is useful to making the decision to call him for interview. Or perhaps that any recruiter surveying his CV has full membership of the Kennel Club and will be suitably enthused by household canine dynamics to scramble to the phone and discuss them ahead of a conversation about a job interview.

It goes back to the points made in our popular blog about what not to put on a CV but it seems that many of us still can’t help ourselves: we’re still telling recruiters how many kids we have and what age they are and the impact their birth has had on the wider household.

Recruiters have limited time as it is wading through pertinent and industry-specific information without caring about the canine dynamic in the house.

If you find yourself waffling then you really need to go back to basics and start to ask yourself what a potential employer in your target industry will want to see.

Often, this means looking at the job ads. But don’t be shy – if you want to be a merchandiser, do a job search for merchandiser roles across the country – search in the larger towns and look at the language on the ads. These ads will tell you exactly what you need to do to catch their eye: they tell you what they want right there in the ads.

Mine the ads for the exact roles you want to apply to. Look out for:

  • Qualifications (if you don’t have them, are they easy to achieve?)

  • Particular skills and experience (you may have them but have overlooked them on your CV?)

  • Industry-specific language and jargon (your CV needs to talk-the-talk)

  • The future (do they allude to shifts in the industry? Don’t miss a trick on your CV when discussing the long-term)

Your CV needs to be razor-sharp and aimed specifically at its target – if you miss the target, you miss out on the job.



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