Enhancing your CV? Do not go too far

When a famous brand gives itself a makeover or launches a new logo, many of us ask ourselves whether anything has really changed… For example, have new colours or a new logo on the outside of a plane improved the level of service experienced by passengers inside it?

This led me to think about CVs. So now let’s put our career or recruitment hats on for a moment and examine similar scenarios.

Occasionally a candidate will come across their ‘dream job’, but knowing that they’re not quite right for it just yet, will exercise some creative licensing on their CV or in their portfolio to make themselves appear slightly more qualified or experienced for the position in question.

Be warned. It doesn’t take long for a switched on hiring manager or a good recruiter to quickly spot a candidate who isn’t as experienced, qualified or suitable for a role as their CV or portfolio might portray.

All they need to do is ask a few questions, check references and scratch beneath the surface to reveal the real candidate – often not the candidate described on paper or on LinkedIn.

You don’t want your recruiter or potential new employer to be disappointed when they, too, realise that ‘the brochure’ described a completely different candidate.

Spray-painting a car won’t change what’s under the bonnet and ‘re-branding’ your CV won’t hide how suitable you really are for the job in question.

Recruiters and employers want to know that the CV is a true reflection of the candidate they have chosen to interview. They don’t want to be let down.

There should never be a question of misrepresentation. If you need to re-invent yourself too much before you apply for a job, perhaps you should reconsider whether that job is actually suitable for you in the first place or whether you should up skill first before applying for similar roles.

More reading:

A résumé – Your future on a piece of paper

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(2) Readers Comments

  1. gr8 advise. i actually have over 16 years in the advertising business and gave my CV a bit of plastic surgery: I hacked off 3 previous jobs and consolidated my experience to the the last decade. I figure the greatest benefit (nowadays) is that I may seem “younger” … yet, in interviews I am often asked about what happened before …. etc

  2. The best way to enhance the quality of a cv is to check the quality of the words used.
    There is an excellent free website which will do this for you.
    The address is http://www.cvwordchecker.com It is free !!

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