Feb 06 2012

CV or Not CV?

With the current employment climate, it has never been more important to really make the most of your CV in a job application.

As the Outplacement specialist within Exclusive Ltd, I was interested to read the cover story in last Saturday’s Guardian Work section which examined the role of the CV for today’s job applicant.There is no disputing the central theme of the article in that the actual process of job applications have been completely transformed in the internet age, with the job board reigning supreme but I think that the article missed a trick somewhat in missing out the role of the recruitment consultant a little in this process.

Whilst some organisations do take the CV out of the equation altogether through their online application forms, the fact remains that the vast majority of adverts on job boards are placed by recruitment consultancies which means that in order to get in front of their client, you must first get past the consultant! All of which means that if anything, your CV has become an even more important tool than it has ever been.

Wearing my dual hat of Outplacement specialist/Recruiter, I do feel that the content, style and structure of your CV is vitally important but overriding all of that it is a document that you MUST be comfortable with yourself. I always wince when I hear of job seekers paying for a ‘professionally produced CV’ often at an exorbitant price, which in effect is simply a standard template offering a one size fits all approach.

Although I would always advise people of improvements to make to their CV as part of our Outplacement service, I would equally insist on the document being something that they have ultimately produced themselves – for all of the advice we can give, your CV must represent YOU! Secondly, the golden rule which is covered in the Guardian article could not be more true – your CV should be tailored against each individual role you are applying for. A good recruiter, be it in-house or within consultancy will be able to spot a generic application a mile off.

It takes ten seconds to apply for a role on a job board – spend the extra five minutes tweaking your CV and make the recruiting organisation feel special…it makes all the difference!

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Image: luigi diamanti /


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