CV writing advice

Advice and tips on how to write your CV come in a variety of shapes and sizes. Some good and some not so good. So I was impressed to see the following really useful infographic from payroll experts Ayers.

Here are my thoughts on how to apply this:

I absolutely agree that the skills needed to write a CV are not correlated with the ability to do the job. Hence lots of great candidates are missing perfect opportunities. So heed good advice, avoid clichés and gimmicks and focus on what makes you special.

Those who have applied for lots of jobs (especially if you reach 50) without a response are either applying for unsuitable jobs or you are not optimising your CV for the particular role. If you are applying for unsuitable jobs, your options then are to get some training or some other experience e.g. volunteering.

The basic mistakes such as spelling and grammar are amazingly common and they give a seriously bad impression. This is particularly true for any kind of profession, anything that involves communicating with customers or partners or of course any writing role.

Writing a CV in the third person just sounds really weird. Employers usually interpret this as bad judgement, naivety and limited communication skills.

The propensity of even senior people to fall back on lazy clichés that make them sound junior is amazing. Being a ‘team player’ is probably not your most unique quality.

I would suggest that there is no such thing as proofreading your own work. Proper proofreading is done by someone else.

Be careful to tailor your approach to the company and the region. For example, whilst I generally don’t recommend including a photograph on your CV, there are some countries e.g. many European countries outside of the UK and Ireland in which this is fully expected.

Reading and interpreting the person specification will get you a long way.

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Graeme Jordan

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CV Writer and Interview Coach. Blogging about ways to improve your CV writing and job searching experience.