It’s not you: it’s your CV



HRs of companies are CV traffickers.

At this time of year, as appraisals break hearts, good ones will see huge numbers of CVs every day. So, who can blame them if they develop foibles? If they cultivate semi-rational dislikes of candidates who claim to be “innovative”

For this reason, it’s advisable to give your  résumé a health check before sending it out.

Is there anything in there that’s likely to repel recruiters before you’ve even started?

Eliminate anything on the list below, or risk CV death.

1. Don’t start with a profile that bloviates about your great personality 

Recruiters hate this

“Please don’t say you’re self-motivated or dynamic or a self-starter in one of those personality profiles”

These are all just clichés

Better have an opening summary that describes your skill-set, not your personality traits.

Showcase your key achievements, not that you’re an entrepreneurial person who can build relationships.”

2. Don’t bang the drum for your experience when you’re 23 years-old

Don’t exagerrate all the work you’ve done when you’ve only just started.

“Extensive experience at a leading audit firm”

“I have proven leadership ability”

Stick to the facts and don’t over-inflate

3. Don’t just list what your job(s) involved

The worst CVs are those that say, “my responsibilities included”

They don’t want to know what your responsibilities were,

Showcase what value you have delivered in the past and what value you will deliver in the future.

Your CV needs to say how good you are at your job, not just what your job is.

4. Don’t state the blindingly obvious 

People will say they’re entrepreneurial, or dynamic, or that they work in a fast-paced environment,

But often this is a given.

If you work on in an audit firm, of course it’s going to be fast-paced and high-pressure.

If you work in M&A, of course it’s going require attention to detail and stamina.

These things are a given

5. Don’t reach for clichés

Lastly, avoid stuffing your CV with trivia.

Extensive experience, proven track record, motivated, results-orientated, team-player, problem-solver are all devoid of meaning.

You better take them out


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