Let’s cut to the chase, CV writing is a minefield! What might stand out for one employer, might not for another. What makes a good CV is subjective, which is tricky when we are on the job hunt and applying for multiple jobs.
Writing a CV is a careful balance; you need to give it adequate time and effort so that you put your best self forward, but it shouldn’t be something that you stress over or something that deters you from applying for a job.
Here at Dogs and Coffee, we have pulled together some of the most frequent myths that surround CV writing and for what it’s worth, have given our thoughts on them to help make the whole process a lot smoother!
Myth: You can embellish a little on your CV
A few white lies, a couple of exaggerations, a little tweak to your past responsibilities; no harm there if it helps you stand out and align more with the role!
Reality: You'll get caught out
A potential employer will uncover your embellishments, whether that’s in the interview stage or even in your first few weeks at the role. You don’t need to tick every single box from the job spec to get a role, so don’t feel lured in to exaggerating. And we bet that there is actually no need for embellishment; most likely you have all the skills and experience, but are just lacking the confidence!
Myth: You must tailor your CV for every job application
Reviewing your CV to make sure it is relevant to the job you are applying for will mean it will be received well.
Reality: This is a good idea
We don’t expect you to rewrite a bespoke CV for every job you apply for, but tailoring it to make sure you address any of the key skill requirements in the job spec is a good idea. We’d suggest having your core CV, then having a section where, in a few sentences, you can introduce yourself, making it specific to that job to show you’ve made an effort.
Myth: You need to include all your personal details
You need to make sure the employer knows all they can about you in order to get that job!
Reality: This isn't necessary
While including important information makes it easy as pie for a recruiter to contact you, they don’t need to know your full address, your date of birth and your star sign! We’d recommend including your email, a phone number, and the area/city you are working in if that is relevant for the role. Everything else, keep to yourself.
Myth: Your design must be really flashy
With hordes of CVs being sent in for one job, you need to make sure your CV stands out with an impressive design.
Reality: This depends on the role
If you are applying for an artistic/design role, this is your chance to shine! Bring your skills and your personal style to your CV. But if not, you don’t need to spend hours and hours on the design. The most important thing is it is clear, easy to read, and exudes professionalism.
Myth: You must explain every gap in employment
Recruiters take one look at an employment gap on your CV and alarms start ringing! Better make sure you add in all the details from any lapses in employment.
Reality: There's no need!
In this day and age, it’s really common for people to take time off to go travelling or maybe take a break from employment completely, and with many people losing their jobs due to Covid, employers won’t see gaps as concerning as you think. If they do have any questions, they can just ask!
Now while what makes a good CV is subjective, there are some golden rules which always apply. We call these The Absolute Don’ts;