By Lilian Wamaitha
When you are actively looking for a job, the last thing on you mind is stressing about whether your CV is interesting or not.
After all, it’s just a CV and it’s not supposed to be entertaining. It’s supposed to get you the job.
Here is the brutal truth though; a CV is not just a CV.
And if you have been sending numerous applications without hearing back from the employers, then something is amiss.
Your CV is not doing what it’s supposed to do. In short, it’s boring and it’s just ending up in the reject pile.
If your CV resembles a to-do list or are desperately trying to convince the employer that you have all the qualifications by including everything you have ever done, you are not doing yourself any favors.
“I have seen CVs that are just a duplication of the job description and this does not go down well with any employer,” says Rebecca Nyawira, a professional CV writer at Corporate Staffing Services.
Here is a little secret
Most employers actually write the job descriptions so when you duplicate what is on the JD on to your CV in the name of tailoring it to fit the job, they will see right through that.
What an employer is looking for at the end of the day is that uniqueness.
So how then do you tell that your CV is boring?
1. Your career profile is longer than six sentences
It is basic to know that the career profile appears at the front page of your CV to ‘give you a face’. It is written as the next aspect after the contact information.
Just because you have been told that your CV must have a career profile does not mean you go summarizing your entire CV on that section.
You need to ensure that it matches the position you are applying for and it highlights your skills in a way that makes you the perfect candidate for the job.
For instance, “‘A dedicated customer service manager with over 2 years’ experience in the customer service industry. I have a proven track record in resolving and reducing customer complaints and meeting customer service level expectations. I am seeking a position in Customer Service where my extensive experience will be further developed and utilized in accomplishing the ultimate marketing goals of the organization.’
2. You have more than two soft skills in your CV
Soft skills such as hard working, works well under pressure, honest and the likes are all good but they should not be the main focus of your CV. Why?
These are skills that anyone has hence are not that unique and an employer cannot verify that you possess them unless you are already in the job.
When writing your CV therefore, avoid wasting too much space explaining cliché skills and ignoring the most important.
3. It’s difficult to identify your hard skills
Here is the secret; if you want to stand out and land that interview, focus on your hard skills.
These are industry specific skills such as project management, search engine optimization, financial reporting, performance management etc.
If you have ever paid attention to any job description, you will realize that these hard skills are what any employer emphasizes on.
Rarely will they emphasize on you being a hard worker or a team player. In fact some of these soft skills only come up in the “other skills” section.
4. Your career gaps are unaccounted for
It is usually worse when you do not give a brief explanation on your CV to account for the time spent outside employment.
Few employers want to hire a person who makes technical appearances into employment and then vanishes without a satisfactory account.
To fill career gaps on your CV, talk about the part time jobs you have done while you were out of regular employment.
“You may not know it but talking about a course you resumed when you are not employed is also good filler on your CV,” says Rebecca.
5. Lastly, your employment history resembles a job description
When an employer is hiring, they are looking for someone who can demonstrate that they can execute the job and fit in the company.
They are looking for someone who can take up the role and run with it and not someone they have to train all over again.
When writing your CV, your work experience should not look like a job description. Job descriptions exist to guide you on what roles you will be taking but what have you done above that?
In as much as you are listing your responsibilities, accompany them with achievements that you can verify.
For instance if you were a sales person, you can list as one of your achievements a time you increased your sales by maybe 10% in just six months if at all that happened.
Never list an achievement that never happened or that you cannot verify.
With this in mind
At the end of the day, you want to be taken seriously by the hiring manager. Take time to review your CV before sending it. Before you send in your CV for a job, always ensure that it is selling you and not the opposite.
It’s your turn
Is your current CV getting you interviews?
Have you been applying to jobs that you qualify and employers are not getting back to you?
If you have the qualifications and the right skills but are not getting interviews then your CV could be a problem.