I got thinking about this recently when a friend of mine was advised by a Careers Advisor on what to wear for an interview. She subsequently travelled for 2 hours only to be sent home without an interview for not being sufficiently smart. Turns out not all companies are the same eh?
It’s very easy to get very bad advice. I write CVs for a living and I often hear candidates say ‘There is no need to change this section – my colleagues have looked at it and they think it’s great’ or ‘The job centre looked at it and they couldn’t find anything wrong’.
Guess what? Their opinion doesn’t matter. The opinion of your potential next employer who recruits for that job that you really want – that is the opinion that matters. So, the only purpose of asking for advice should be to find out what that person is looking for. If they don’t know, then their opinion is irrelevant to you.
A lot of people give advice on CV writing. Consider these things: Have they recruited for the role you are going for? What is their role in the industry you are targeting? These are the indicators of where you should be looking for advice. A market research company wouldn’t set out to ask the wrong group of people to rate a new product – equally you should focus your career research on seeking out the opinions of the right people.
As I have alluded to on other posts – it is nice to know that your CV is factually correct and there is nothing wrong with it. But that is not enough to get you your next job. How persuasive is it? To what extent does it stand out from others who may have similar experience? There may be more you can do to elevate your CV than you ever thought possible.
Don’t believe any advice that says this or that should or shouldn’t be included. The test is very simple: If it says something positive about you that is relevant to the job, it should be in. If it doesn’t meet both of these criteria, it shouldn’t. Every line on your CV should be there because it says something positive and relevant about you; not because you think it ‘ought’ to be there.
I’ve never once in my career seen a CV that I couldn’t improve. Maybe yours will be the first. Why not send it to me in complete confidence (Graeme@graemejordan.co.uk) and I will let you know.