How often does a CV win a job?

Speaking personally, I’d have to say, not often. Then I’d have to add, only the interesting ones.

If ever I’ve been looking to employ someone, I usually have a pretty good idea of the candidate I’m looking for.

So the ad goes out and the letters and emails come flooding in. Recruitment consultancies rarely send you a meaningful shortlist, so you get used to dismissing the time-wasting ones out of hand, and very few don’t fall into that category.

So how do you make a CV interesting? I’ve had many unusual ones;
a small box containing a Mars bar and a letter, marked “Here’s a sweetener’;
a larger box containing a coconut shell sawn in half with an application letter inside folded into four;
forty closely typed pages that looked more like a resume for an autobiography; none of which led to an interview.

You have to bear in mind that a cv application is a piece of marketing – it’s just that it’s advertising you. The job your cv has to do is two-fold – it has to get noticed on first scrutiny and it has to make it to the short list for an interview.

Because it’s only then that you’re going to get the chance to pitch the thing that’ll make the real difference – yourself.

Now the person receiving it doesn’t have a clue who you are, but may have a pile of applications to wade through in order to make a short list. If you make their life a bit easier, you’ll start with them on your side, and that’s the side you want to be on.

Your best bet and the one that will save the most wasted time is to preface your application with the simplest of answers to the advertisement you are replying to. Look at the main issues the advertisement asks for and if you really believe you could do the job well if it was offered, produce a short list of your own:

I am this
I can do this
I’d like this

Then you can add all those details you want an employer people to know about you.

Then at least you may not get weeded out in the first pass.

Photo by Kaitlyn Baker on Unsplash