CVs. Ah, the age-old scourge of recruiters, candidates, job seekers and head-hunters alike. Most people would rather stick forks in their eyes than write a CV, and to be fair, a lot of CVs look like they’ve been written by people with forks in their eyes. Reading them is even worse. Let’s be honest here – CVs are astoundingly boring. Doctors should prescribe reading them as a cure for insomnia; “Read two CVs with a glass of warm milk and call me in the morning.”
The problem with CV writing is that everybody’s career history is completely unique, making a definitive template on what you should and shouldn’t do impossible. There are literally thousands of guides online telling you what to do and I won’t insult you by offering yet another one, but the trouble is they’re all subjective. Everyone has their own idea of what is needed and what isn’t, what colours are acceptable, how far you should go back, what skills and traits you should mention etc, etc, ad infinitum.
You just need to have a bit of common sense about it. Imagine you’re the poor sod who has to sit and read a stack of CVs all in one sitting. You would want it to be as painless as possible, wouldn’t you? That means you want the information to be neatly and concisely laid out so you don’t have to hunt for what you’re looking for. It means the document not being so long that it needs to be written on a loo roll, and above all, the information that you include MUST BE RELEVANT. I once wrote a CV for someone who had a Ph.D. in Philosophy and yet they thought that their CV would benefit from mentioning their burger-flipping experience on their Gap Year thirty years previously. That’s what I mean by relevant.
CVs are a necessary evil. If you do attempt to write one, please just try to remember that it’s a professional snapshot of your working life – it is NOT a biography. A recruiter does not care that you have three cats and you like to taste artisan cheeses at the weekend. They DO care that you display the skills needed to fulfill the position you’ve applied for and that they’ll bring real value to the organisation. There’s no rocket science involved here.
But if people don’t enjoy writing them and enjoy reading them even less, what are we to do to break the deadlock? The answer is, get a professional to write it for you. It saves you the heartache of writing something that is the equivalent of drying paint, and your potential employer will be so happy to read a CV that doesn’t instantly make them break down and cry that you’re virtually guaranteed an interview. The three new professional CV and LinkedIn writing packages that Mercury Hampton have just launched can make all the difference between shaking hands on a new position or being consigned to the slush pile forever. Oh, and unlike other professional writing services, you won’t have to put a vital organ on eBay in order to pay for it. Contact us for more information on these services and give everyone’s blood pressure a rest.
The ironic thing in all of this, though, is that although the whole CV process may be painful, it actually leads to huge positives for all involved; succeed in securing the role and you get a new challenge and your optimism for the future goes through the roof. Your new employer, meanwhile, fills a vacant position and gains a skilled worker. Your CV has the power to make or break your application, so make sure that it’s the best representation of you that it can possibly be.
Now, where did I put that warm milk?