5 CV Myths Debunked!
With so many experts offering CV advice these days, it is sometimes difficult to know who to believe. It is not unusual to receive conflicting advice on your CV from various sources, which not only creates confusion but also serves to perpetuate the myths and general ignorance surrounding the compilation and use of a CV. So what are the most common misconceptions?
1) A bad CV will end up in the bin
The most common myth, and one which I fi nd mildly infuriating, is the belief that, should your CV fail to impress, it will end up in the bin. C’mon, do you really think employers are so disrespectful that they would treat the result of all your hard work with such contempt? Employers are human after all. The truth is that if your CV is no good, it doesnot go in the bin – but it may get passed over fairly quickly.
2) A CV should be only 1 page in length
Where DOES this belief originate? Actually, a one page CV is not very common. To have a one page CV you would need to be straight out of school, with virtually no work experience, and certainly no degree. Notable exceptions of course are, for example, some of the prominent merchant banks, who will deliberately request a one page CV. This is a true test of your editing skills – and your judgement.
3) A good CV will get me a job
Wrong! It is only designed to get you to the interview. It is often forgotten that the CV is only the fi rst stage – merely a tool to convey information about you. It is the initial interview, and what follows, that will be used to decide an offer of employment.
4) You shouldn't put your date of birth on your CV
There are a lot of misconceptions surrounding this and I think it arises from the change in UK legislation that was passed in October 2006, which effectively made it illegal for a prospective employer to discriminate against potential candidates on grounds of their age. This was designed to eliminate age preferences, for example, in jobs ads. Don’t misinterpret the intention. It doesn’t mean you are forbidden from putting your date of birth on your CV. It does, however, mean you can withhold it if you so wish. Ultimately, the choice is yours.
5) A CV is a legal document
No it isn’t, and you cannot be held legally liable for anything contained in it. Whilst I do not condone the inclusion of false information, we must remember it is a sales document and, as such, it will contain a favourable description of your skills and achievements (but on the whole it should be accurate and true). I think the confusion here stems from the humble application form. If you have ever completed a job application form you will see that you are required to sign a declaration at the end stating that all information is true and correct and that nothing of signifi cance has been omitted. This IS a legal document, and becomes part of your contract of employment in the event that your application is successful.
Not a myth! The golden rule of CV writing: Proofread it carefully. DON’T rely on the spellchecker! Better yet, get someone else to look it over, too. Spelling and grammatical errors are the most common reason for CV failure. Peter Panayotou, senior CV consultant at The Write Stuff, dispels the myths surrounding the CV If you need further advice or would like to have your CV prepared by a professional, there’s always The Write Stuff
Peter Panayotou is Senior Consultant and founder of The Write Stuff. He has a very high personal success rate and a reputation for excellence which has helped The Write Stuff to become recognized as one of the leading CV consultancies.
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