4 common CV myths

Marlon Mai August 14, 2015 3 mins read

Quite often, candidates will approach me and ask me why, after sending their CV for a certain position that seems to fit their professional experience, they never heard anything back.

Sometimes it's not that the actual skills and experience of the person looking for a new job that has failed to meet the requirements of the job, but simply that the recruiter was unable to see these skills and experience from the CV.The following is a list of common myths surrounding CVs:

1. Overly subjective or empty personal summaries

The personal summary is located in a very eye-catching part of the CV; its content should capture the interest of the recruiter with a few important details. However, candidates will often occupy this space with a plethora of adjectives that hint at their personality or work ethic; sometimes, candidates will even adopt the tired slogan of "Believe me, I won't let you down!". The biggest reaction from the recruiter is, "Uh… okay?" Only a pithy, well-structured personal summary that opts for substance over style is capable of drawing in a recruiter. Using a business position as an example, your personal summary should contain sales models; products and industry markets with which you're familiar; impressive achievements from the last three years; completion rates and annual growth rates for achievements; different internal departments with whom you had to communicate, etc. Speak in terms of objective statistics.

2. "Copy-and-paste" job descriptions

Although professional responsibilities can be general and can't distinguish you from other candidates, I suggest that candidates list one of their work achievements. Try to set yourself apart from others using statistics and cases.

3. Rushing into the workplace with only one CV

Even if the jobs you are applying for all have the same title, the requirements for the same position will differ from company to company. If the person applying overlooks this and uses the same CV to apply for jobs at different companies in different industries, then their strategy amounts to little more than an exercise in probability theory.

4. Should particular circumstances cause you to jump from one job to another within a short period of time, you should clarify your reason for the resignation on your CV

Recruiters generally don't look favourably upon people that jump from one job to another. However, very often candidates will be forced to resign after meeting with unfortunate circumstances such as the disbandment of their team, or conflicts in the office. If you don't explain these circumstances in your CVs, then recruiters will most likely not have the time to call you individually to establish what happened. As a result, your application may be sent directly to the spam folder.

To conclude: don't allow yourself to think, "Isn't one CV all that you need? All I need to do is express myself well in the interview and I'll be fine." f your CV is poorly written, you may not even have the chance to go to the interview.

Marlon Mai's picture
Managing Director | Finance & Accounting, IT, Sales & Marketing Recruitment
mmai@morganmckinley.com