Some intriguing comments on CVs from yesterday’s batch of applicants…
Due to a domestic dispute took a career break…
Interests: Producing young horses…
As kitchen assistant I helped prepare 6 different types of sandwiches…
As a cleaner it involved, mopping up, sweeping, hovering…
That last role must have been particularly demanding!
For the past week, I’ve been posting examples of advice I’ve given candidates who I can’t actually help get work.
I thought I was going to post a new article each day - but I’m not sure I will - the simple reason is that the comments will often be pretty much the same. We’ll see. Maybe I’ll just post when something new comes up.
Today’s candidate was very similar to one I’d spoken to previously - one bit of advice did differ - it related to his personal statement. And this was that your personal statement needs to have relevant keywords in it that reflect what recruiters will be searching for - recruiters won’t search for ‘a highlly effective worker happy at working in a team or on their own initiative’, or other such bollocks.
Whilst you don’t want to fill the statement with gobbledegook, (as this will be picked up by search engines), think about what people are searching by - job titles, technology skills, specific qualifications, trade bodies (as an example I’m recruiting for an HR manager, so will search for ‘CIPD). and see what comes up, and specific achievements that relate to your industry sector, and to your role and experience.
Put yourself in the position of a recruiter who is going to trawl through hundreds, thousands of CVs - what do you think they are going to look for in order to narrow down the numbers to someting manageable - and then make sure your covering summary includes some of this stuff (assuming you aren’t making it up of course!)
Actively seeking employment
Unfortunately, this candidate is now unemployable. At least, if they only describe the last 8 years of their career in this way, and if they only try to get a job via traditional methods - job ads, recruitment agencies etc.
Unfair? probably. But this is how it is - if your CV is anything like this, you are only opening yourself up for questions from the recruiter, questions that they will keep in their minds and not bother asking you about - they will simply go on to the next applicant.
So you’ve spent much of the last 8 years retraining, doing voluntary work, bringing up a family, looking after a sick / disabled relative, doing short term interim and temporary work not related to the career you want?
If it’s not in the CV most recruiters will assume you’ve been sat at home watching daytime TV. Or worse….
Is it bad that I am seriously considering emulating one of these fine folks? #7 in particular is what every cover letter of mine is trying to say.
I actually got one of these CVs last week…have a great weekend!
…is not being able to give enough candidates appropriate advice
I simply don’t have time. I wish I was able to live by the ideals of this morning’s quote, and support everyone who applies for my vacancies, giving them appropriate information to help with their future job search, and let them become the people they have the potential to be…
Unfortunately, and significantly I suspect as a result of restrictions on UK jobseekers allowance for those who can’t demonstrate they have applied to at least 5 jobs a day (or whatever the criteria is), then this situation is not going to change.
Wastes everybody’s time of course. But hey, if it ticks a few boxes that’s all that really matters isn’t it!