5 Ways Your CV or Resume Sucks

As Partner in a company that has made its name by insisting on excellence, I get to see a lot of job applications. There’s one thing all applicants include: a summary document. Whether you call it a Resume, CV or Curriculum Vitae it all boils down to the same thing: most of you don’t have a chance of getting to the next stage. Here are the top five reasons why.

You’re Trying to Get a Job

If you think your CV or resume is the way to get a job, you’re mistaken. It has just one task and that is to get you an interview. The interview is where you get the job. This is something that employers know but applicants haven’t been told. Okay, you’ve been told now. Give the recruiter every reason to want to talk to you. Always be honest in what you say, but find reasons to intrigue them. I’ll go into this in more detail in a moment, but just remember, recruiters want to hear why you’d be valuable to them.

You Can’t Spell

Use a spell-checker for goodness’ sake. It’s not hard. Then get it proofread by a friend or relative who can spell. Get them to check your grammar while they’re at it too. Doesn’t have to be expensive. Pay for it with a coffee, box of chocolates or a bunch of flowers. If you can’t afford that, pay with gratitude – it’s often more valuable.

You’ve Made it Hard Work

I don’t want to have to sort through all your stuff, I haven’t got time. Creating a winning CV/resume is about information management. Organise your information into sections with relevant headings. Do it for me because if you don’t I won’t read it. Increase your chances by doing the hard work, so I won’t have to.

You’re Lazy

It’s easy to spot a generic CV/resume. This is one that’s been written to appeal to a wide variety of employers. This is the hallmark of the lazy applicant. Make each application unique and tailor-made. Casting a wide net won’t do. You need to make me, the recruiter, feel as though you want to work for me more than anyone else. Make me feel as though I’m your first choice. So how do you do that? Remember my Power Connector’s Rule Number 1: do your research and customise your CV/resume for me. The information you need is everywhere: start with Google and move on to LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter. Putting the effort in at the beginning here, will pay dividends later.

You Haven’t Told Me Why I Need You

As I mentioned above, I’m going to need a compelling reason to interview you. There are always plenty of other candidates, so you need to make yourself stand out – for the right reasons. There are loads of ways to do this. You could identify your strengths and highlight them for me. Alternatively, answer the questions that are in my head. What problem do you solve for me? What value would your experience, expertise or attitude give my organisation? Give enough reasons to make me swap some of my precious time meeting you. Show me why I can’t live without you.

The Next Step

Here’s a bonus tip: take as much care over your covering letter as you do on your CV/resume. A great way to stand out is to hand write it. The next step is to take a fresh look at your CV or resume. Do everything you can to stand out in all the right ways: be focused, identify your assets, make sure I understand that I need to meet you in person. Get these things right and you may soon be shopping for some new work clothes.

Author: Ash Mashhadi

Ash Mashhadi is co-Founder of the Inspiration Zone. He is also co-Founder of the successful website InPlymouth.com and Partner in the highly successful web design and social media consultancy Design Inspiration. Ash is a popular and lively speaker and frequently trains and mentors owners of small and medium-sized businesses. He is often called The Inspiration Guy, and if you want to discover why, just talk to him.

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