What's wrong with my CV?

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"Why am I not getting onto the shortlist? I'm perfectly qualified, I'm exactly what they are looking for; but I'm sending my CV off and never hearing anything back. HELP!"

Simple things, done badly, can KILL your chances on the hunt. Simple things, done well, make all the difference ...

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What's wrong with my CV?

  1. 1. What the f**k CV is wrong with my
  2. 2. What’s wrong with my CV? A: Nothing. There’s nothing particularly wrong with your CV. Q: So how come I don’t always get shortlisted? A: Ah! Well that’s not the same question. Fact of the matter is, your CV is probably fine. But fine is no longer enough to get you onto the shortlist. First problem ...
  3. 3. Employer Approach CVs Job-Hunter Approach Adver;sing Trusted  agency Close  colleagues Using  proven  people Daniel Porot’s marvellous model (tweaked a bit) From  within
  4. 4. CVs Adver;sing Too many of the jobs that are out there are being filled before they even pop up into public view.
  5. 5. So you can be this fox, who has learned how to find prey beneath the snow ... … or this one, who is still hoping against hope for a juicy, visible meal in the winter.
  6. 6. WIDGETS Incorporated e jet put th We idget into w Rowan Manahan I’m the MD, bitch! If you have to go the conventional route and join lots of other people in the hirer’s funnel ...
  7. 7. 50 7 86% 3 1 You have to recognise the HUGE elimination rate at the first stage - getting from the big pile onto the “possibles” pile and thence to the shortlist, is truly Darwinian.
  8. 8. So the normal distribution doesn’t really apply. Meh
  9. 9. It looks more like this.
  10. 10. “Screening and Selection” or “Screening & Elimination? With no malice, the reader is looking for a reason to chuck your CV - any CV - into the bin.
  11. 11. Who really MATTERS? (Hint - not you. You need to follow Johnny’s advice and get really good at stalking the people who will be reading your CV. You have to get into their heads.)
  12. 12. The Ladders research, from Spring 2012, used eye-tracking software as recruiters read hundreds upon hundreds of CVs.
  13. 13. It is not a cheerful read ...
  14. 14. Name Current title / Company Previous title / Company Previous position start/end dates Current position start/end dates Education These are the hotspots.
  15. 15. “ If you wish to persuade me, you must think my thoughts, feel my feelings, and speak my words. So get good, really good, at understanding what this reader of this CV for this job is worried about ...
  16. 16. Linkedin is the 800lb gorilla, but it can cause complications if it in any way contradicts the CV that you have sent in to a company. Not a problem if you are an X and you are positioning yourself only for X-type jobs. Very tricky indeed if you are transitioning into Y- or Z-type jobs.
  17. 17. Great book - highly recommended
  18. 18. Great site - highly recommended. The webinars give you a real insight into how recruiters are viewing you and what they are looking for.
  19. 19. SIZE MATTERS
  20. 20. Curriculum Vitae (abbrev. CV) A brief account of a person’s education, qualifications, professional history and occupations, typically sent with a job application. ORIGIN: early 20th Cent.: from Latin, the course of life Operative word: brief
  21. 21. 900 to 1,100 words So, pare it back!
  22. 22. EDUCATION & TRAINING INSTITUTION QUALIFICATION Project Management Institute Project Management Prince 2 College, Location Masters in Business Administration YEAR 2013 (Practitioner Level) 2011 Thesis: Implementing ERP in the multinational setting Company, Location Advanced Presentation Skills 2009 ACCA ACCA – Membership 2007 College, Location B.Comm – 2:1 hons, Top 10 in class 2003 Electives: Human Resources and I.T. School, Location Leaving Certificate 525 points achieved This is one area where a typical CV can start to really sprawl. 2000
  23. 23. EARLY CAREER JOB TITLE COMPANY Early (and frequently irrelevant) career details can add pages... YEARS
  24. 24. Write real PURTY
  25. 25. For sale. Baby shoes. Never worn. Doesn’t matter that it wasn’t Hemingway - it’s great writing.
  26. 26. I  am  a  highly  experienced  Accountant,  with  a  number  of   years  experience  in  the  financial  area  including  the   Multinational  sector  and  Financial  Services.  Prior  to   taking  up  a  career  in  Accountancy  I  ran  the  family   business  for  a  number  of  years.  I  possess  strong   interpersonal  and  communication  skills,  with  the  ability   to  interact  effectively  &  professionally  with  clients  and   colleagues  at  all  levels.  I’m  a  team  player  with  a  strong   work  ethic,  while  I’m  an  ethe other hand, is learner  with  ability   nthusiastic  88 This, on wasted words and does not make work  situations.     to  adapt  quickly  to  meew  ato meethallenging   n want nd  c this candidate.
  27. 27. One false word, one extra word, and somebody’s thinking about how they have to buy paper towels at the store. Brevity is very important. If you’re going to be longwinded, it should be for a purpose. Not just because you like your words. Amen!
  28. 28. SELL, DON’T TELL Far too may writers waste far too much space detailing the things they are responsible for. I can’t distinguish one Management Accountant from another on the basis of responsibilities.
  29. 29. So, no copying and pasting from your job description please.
  30. 30. Contributions Suggestions E C Wins N E R E F F I projects DSpecial Over-and-above Tell me about the things you have done that are in some way special, the things that have made a difference to your boss.
  31. 31. WOO THE EYES If your document is badly laid-out, has too small a font (anything smaller that 11pt and I’m pretty much hating you!), huge chunks of dense text, endless lists of bullet points, my eye is offended.
  32. 32. August 2010 to Present Headhunted by Widgets Incorporated (IRL) as the Senior Management Accountant, reporting to the Financial Controller. Widgets competes in the blah-blah sector, the local affiliate has a turnover of €92 million and employs 175 staff. Along with the typical analysis, audit and reporting functions, my brief encompasses: • Line management for 11 staff – 3 Accountants and 8 Clerks • Development, implementation and updating of all policies and procedures in my remit • Capital expenditure projects from inception to completion • Collaboration on key projects – insurance, systems development, stock control Key Contributions • Migration from legacy system to SAP – project team member • Merger, acquisition and diligence activities from time to time • Conducting training in finance for non-financial management May 2005 to August 2010 Joined Fidgets Ltd as Payroll Clerk, reporting to the Management Accountant. Fidgets is Make it clean and easy to read. A few lines to introduce the role and the company. A few bullets detailing some of your special responsibilities. Contributions split out, so I can jump to them.
  33. 33. Because if you do end up on a large pile, content will not be enough - your document will need to seduce the reader.
  34. 34. I have a great eye for DEATIL This is not funny
  35. 35. Proofreading your peppers is a matter of the utmost impotence This is (Taylor Mali)
  36. 36. Passive voice In-jokes / Abbreviations Slang / Informal Overstating Mixing tenses T F A R D UnNecesary CapitalisatioN That’s before we even get to “there/their” and “were/where”
  37. 37. We all think we know these basics and yet the majority of CVs I see have errors in them.
  38. 38. Knowing your shit And neglect not ...
  39. 39. Knowing you’re shit … the humble apostrophe
  40. 40. MAPPING You would be surprised how many jobseekers have very obviously not read the advert or job description.
  41. 41. Dick Bolles’ wonderful book
  42. 42. What shape is ME HOLE? My draft title for my next book. Square peg, round hole … geddit?
  43. 43. “ Am I a good hire for this job? Ask yourself these questions - as harshly and objectively as you can. Would I hire me to do this job?
  44. 44. KEYWORD FROM THE RESPONSIBILITY ADVERT / JOB DESCRIPTION WITH THIS ITEM CONTRIBUTION WITH THIS ITEM Then, before you start tweaking your CV for this application, break it down. What do they need vs what have you got? SCORE ON BEST DAY SCORE ON CRAP DAY
  45. 45. Because, for a hotly-contested position, the reader will be making his/her mind up as they get halfway down the first page. “Is this person in my frame for this job - yes or no?” They won’t say yes quickly, but they will say no very quickly.
  46. 46. What’s wrong with my CV? Nothing and everything. The good news being that lots of the reasons CVs-that-are-fine get dumped, can be easily fixed.
  47. 47. Rowan_Manahan @ ch u am rr ve ew gy ha T

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