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If you are not getting an interview - check that highly dull CV.

30 November 2015

If you are just not getting interviews then maybe now is a good time to take a long hard look at that CV. Most of the people we work with at Badger Associates are at a senior enough level to have done their own recruiting over the years – so why do you not remember those dull and boring CVs that simply repeated the same old mantras over and over and which left you thinking “…and blah, blah, blah” as you passed it to the reject pile.

Do you also remember those smart ass CVs that look like Piccadilly Circus. All bright flashy PDF bits designed, you used to think, to distract you from the fact that John Doe was, in truth, quite talentless. Do you also remember how annoyed you got with PDF CVs anyway. You couldn’t save them as a Word document and couldn’t add your own notes. Pain in the butt weren’t they?

So….if you remember stuff like that why, when you are looking for a new role yourself, do you do that same things?

If you are sending your CV to a recruitment company the issues get multiplied! They see literally thousands of CVs and after a while they glaze over when the next hopeful tells them that they are “highly motivated” or are “able to work on their own or as part of a team” or are "self diciplined and motivated" or "highly skilled". These and similar glib phrases simply say – this person is padding out their CV with stuff that they think the reader will be impressed by and has never seen on a CV before. I would go so far as to say that anyone using the work "highly" in their CV should be taken out and beaten with a wet lettuce. In truth, by lunchtime most recruiters have already seen and ignored the word "highly" dozens of times.

The recruiter works for the client, who is paying them. They don’t work for YOU because you don’t pay them. You just subject them to your dull CV. So, if you want to impress an employer or a recruiter make your CV stand out in its own right. Not as a flashy PDF with glib phrases that you think will impress. Make yourself a saleable commodity with a CV that looks like you have put some effort into it. Get a punchy statement up front that says what you are bringing to the party. They will take it as read that you are motivated and that you can get on with people as well as using your initiative. Tell them why they need to employ you.

Oh, and while you’re at it, check your Facebook, and Google yourself. Because you can bet your potential new employer will. You will also do well to join the LinkedIn community and use its facilities to build an impressive base of contacts. If your peers want to know you so will your prospective employer. 

Now go back to that CV and delete every "highly" and you will find that it still makes perfect sense.