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Can't CV the Wood for the Trees

by: Garry Pierrepont (12 January 2012)

Sometimes CVs can be blinding, can't they? The writer (the job applicant) is desperately trying to get the message across, but the message gets lost. This can happen for a number of reasons.

  1. The CV is badly written.
  2. The job applicant appears to have done "too much".
  3. The CV has too much repetition.

Let's examine these one at a time.

The CV is badly written

As a job applicant you may not necessarily have the best English skills and your job may not require them, but any reader of your CV needs to understand it. Even for the most skilled English writer, having a document checked over by someone else is a good idea. For an unskilled writer, using someone skilled in writing CVs is essential. Don't skimp on this. A CV that is hard to read will be instantly cast aside.

The job applicant appears to have done "too much"

If you've ever read a number of CVs you will quickly see that most job applicants seem to have done it all, managed it all, and seen it all. Sometimes you wonder who on earth could let them go! Yet several people seem to have done so. Let's be honest: we can't all save the world. Be honest about your achievements – if you’re not, you will soon be caught out at interview.

The CV has too much repetition

You say it once in the Key Skills and Achievements; you say it again in the body of the CV; you might even say it once again in the covering letter. Who are you trying to convince? Yourself? If you have sound achievements and skills they will shine through. Say it once, or at least, when you say it again, say it differently.

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