Why your CV could be a failure

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

The CV is still the key tool of choice for most job seekers. This is due to the fact that job seekers spend the majority of their time targeting advertised jobs. Unfortunately most CVs I read do little justice for their owner. 

There are many reasons for CV failure - CVs lack focus, CVs don’t sell the owner, or CVs are too cluttered making difficult reading. A poor CV will limit your opportunities to interview. 

You must ensure that you have an IMPACT CV. 

Below I have identified key points to assist with CV writing and help deliver of more interviews… 

It’s not about you – Most job seekers are introverted when they write their CV. They pay little attention to the employer. You need to put yourself into the shoes of the employer. Start seeing and thinking like the employer. This exercise will help you write more relevant content. 

One hat doesn’t fit all – You should tailor your CV for each role you target. This will mean changing your CV for every application. Change can range from minor tweaking to a major overhaul. A tailored CV will improve your application to interview ratio. 

The WOW factor – Don’t tell the reader what you have been hired to do. Tell the reader what you delivered when hired. Populate the content of your CV with facts, figures, and achievements. Show potential employers your value or how you can solve their problems. Key achievements can help elevate your CV above the competition. 

Break the rules – Don’t limit yourself with rigid rules on CV format/layout. Treat a CV like a fluid document. Be creative and ensure you get relevant information onto the first page of the CV. Your CV should be about marketing yourself and not listing fact about yourself. 

Clean and simple - Don’t over complicate your CV. I’m a big fan of the simple CVs. Clear headings, uniformed font and tabbing, white space, and bullet points. Remove the clutter from your CV to help the reader digest the important information. 

All about the first page – I’m regularly quizzed about the optimum length of a CV. Focus on first page rather than the actual length. The first page has to grab the attention. Do what it takes to get valuable information onto the first page of your CV. Information buried in the CV may not get read. 

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Paul Mullan is founder of Career Coaching & Outplacement Firm Measurability. Services - Outplacement, Personal Branding, Interview Coaching, Job Search Strategies, LinkedIn/Social Media, and CV Writing.