CV Writing – One Size DOES NOT Fit all
by: Dazzling CVs - Steve Szita
Answers that are poles apart. Answers that directly contradicted each other. So, who was right, regarding the CV writing? Well, in a strange sort of way, they both were. How can that be? Because they were both answering the question from their own perspective.
The first respondent was a senior manager with a similar amount of experience as the businessman who posed the question. He knew that with 25 years’ experience, there was really no need at all to be talking about school qualifications gained back in the 1980s. The space on the CV should be used for more relevant career experience and achievements.
In contrast, the second respondent was an undergraduate who would graduate later this year. He, of course, had very little work experience to show, so was placing much more emphasis on the qualifications he had gained. To him, at the point he was in his career, the ‘O’ Levels (or GCSEs) were not just of greater importance, they were an essential element in the CVs make-up.
I know that there is nothing more infuriating than to be met with the ‘it depends’ answer, especially when you’re after professional CV help. However, like so many aspects of CV writing, a tailor-made approach should always come first. Indeed, the crux of good CV writing is taking a tailor-made approach.
So, when you see the offer of a ‘free CV template’ or read a CV guide online, never take it at face value or accept it as a literal true authority. You must always assess it through your own eyes. A very obvious piece of advice I know but it’s amazing how many people completely miss it. I recently wrote a CV for a professional guy who had the most amazing hobby – he ran marathons and half marathons for charity and over the last 10 years had raised over £25,000 for charity. However, this wasn’t anywhere on his CV. Why? Because the template he’d downloaded off the web for his old CV said a section on interests wasn’t necessary!
An analogy I always use when talking about CV templates is, suppose you go into a clothes store. Would you buy the exact same outfit that the dummy in the shop window was wearing? Or would just draw, perhaps, one or two pieces of clothing from it and decide the rest yourself? Exactly. It’s the same with your CV. Happy shopping!
© Dazzling CVs 2010