Editor's noteOpinion

Don’t overestimate your CV

Reading your CV, would you hire you?

Looking to fill a position in our editorial department I loaded an advertisement on a popular website and was pleasantly surprised when just an hour after the advertisement went live I received the first CV.

By the end of the day I had over 40 applications and was convinced I’d have my dream employee signing a contract before the end of the week. Boy was I naïve.

My excitement slowly started to fade as one by one I found myself pressing the delete button. I’m not even sure I can begin to accurately relay the disastrous grammar that somehow managed to permeate most of the CVs. Now, while spelling might not be that big a deal for a party planner or even a dentist it is rather essential for a journalist.

My definition of “applicable experience” appears to differ quite vastly to a number of people if the CVs I trawled through are anything to go by. Judging by some of the applications the fact that I’ve flown as a passenger in an airplane a few times deems me fit to apply to pilot a boeing 747.

I’ve also taken out my fair share of splinters over the years so I could probably apply to be an ER nurse.  Come to think of it I’ve watched many a grandprixs so I’ll be a shoe-in for pole position too.

But seriously, all jokes aside, if you’re going to do nothing else, at least run your CV through spell check or get someone else to read it and give you some feedback. A prospective employer who has 200 plus CVs to get through is going to be ruthless. I know I am.

  • If you don’t use capital letters at the beginning of sentences and full stops at the end I press delete.
  • If your entire covering letter is typed in capital letters I press delete.
  • If you can’t spell something as simple as “local” I press delete.
  • If you don’t include a relevant cover letter but rather some mass produced letter you’ve used to apply for the position of a professional dancer, a librarian and a zoologist I press delete.
  • If you’ve included photographs of yourself scantily clad I press delete.
  • If you decorate your entire CV with Christmas trees I press delete.

You get the gist.

If you’re serious about getting a position spend a little more time on your CV and your covering letter. Be concise keeping both as short and relevant as possible. Prospective employers don’t need to know that you were the class captain in grade 6 or that you won Little Miss Sunshine when you were nine.

If you take nothing else away from this, please, before you press send be honest, looking at your CV, would you hire you?

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