I have known Lis McGuire of Giraffe CVs for some little while now and have always been impressed by the quality of her advice and work. I was therefore delighted when she agreed to do a post for this Job Search Advice Blog looking at some of the issues she has seen with CVs. She has also provided a wonderful infographic which brings the topic to life in a very visual way.
Summing up of 10 Major CV Crimes
All rise. The CV court is now in session.
Members of the Jury, my job is to explain the CV law to you and to sum up the evidence you are about to hear. It is your job to weigh up all the evidence you read and decide whether you believe yourself to be guilty or not guilty of these CV crimes. After all, a recruiter will judge your employability and potential on the basis of your CV.
You, as a jobseeker, are accused of the following CV crimes. I present the evidence.
EXHIBIT 1: Your CV is too long.
- Your CV should be a maximum of two pages
EXHIBIT 2: Your CV lacks clarity and focus.
- Your direction should be clear from your CV.
EXHIBIT 3: Your CV isn’t aimed to your target role.
- Ideally you should identify your target job, then take aim. Fire!
EXHIBIT 4: Your CV is poorly presented.
- Your CV’s design and format are assaulting the recruiter’s senses. An eye-catching, uncluttered CV will be more appealing to the recruiter.
EXHIBIT 5: Your CV is full of irrelevant information.
- Appeal to the recruiter’s judgement by showcasing pertinent evidence.
EXHIBIT 6: Your CV lacks structure
- The recruiter reading your CV has to play detective to find out what they need to know. Using defined headings will help the recruiter to quickly identify the information they need.
EXHIBIT 7: Your defence is weak
- Arm yourself with an arresting CV profile to set out your case. The penalty of not securing an interview will outweigh the effort required to present a sound case.
EXHIBIT 8: Circumstantial vs real evidence
- Back up your claims with quantifiable achievements. Call witnesses to defend your character (LinkedIn recommendations can support this).
EXHIBIT 9: Your testimony has holes in it
- Don’t try to cover up holes in your case. If your dates don’t stack up, the recruiter may suspect fraudulent activity – make sure you have an airtight alibi.
EXHIBIT 10: You’re CV is full of speling misteaks and gramaticale erors
- Check, check and check again to make sure your CV does you justice.
Would you now retire and consider your verdict to establish if you are guilty as charged. If you’ve been banged to rights, then consider this a caution and revisit your CV to show the recruiter it would be criminal not to hire you.
If you require some professional representation, Giraffe CVs’ professional CV writing service would be considered a ‘steal’.