Plain Words
Training Bulletin
issue 28

Web Site Home

Back issues

Editor Recommends

Graham Perkins – Killer CVs & Hidden Approaches

Subscribe to this training bulletin

Update Me! Service

Interested in a course but unsure when you can attend?

We’ll email you the date and venue when we schedule it

Update me!

Training Bulletin Issue 28

“We stole a pig, but it was a really small pig,” and other things you shouldn’t put in your CV

“My sister once won a strawberry-eating contest.”
“I work well in the nude.”
“Organised the office lottery entry for five years.”
“Was sent on an anger management course.”

Other bad ideas include printing your CV on blue paper with teddy bears round the edge, pink paper with a Hello Kitty watermark or indeed, almost anything except plain white or buff paper.

How bad can CVs really be?

A recent survey by fish4jobs reported that 73 per cent of employers were more irritated by badly written CVs than by applicants who arrived late, wore inappropriate clothes or swore during an interview.

And what constituted badly written CVs?

Simply by avoiding these problems, you will have an advantage over other job seekers.

Be specific about what you’ve done and include details

Include any statistics you can:
ticksaved company money by reducing expenditure on widgets
crossreduced widget expenditure by 14% over eight months
tickAccount Manager, Sept 05–present
Managed company's key accounts
crossAccount Manager, Sept 05–present
Managing key accounts worth 3.7m

Relate your experience to the job you’re applying for

Read the advert carefully and tailor your CV using the terms, definitions and descriptions the employer uses. Remember that the first sorting of CVs may be done by somebody who is not familiar with the job. They may simply go through a pile of applications and select those that match key terms. If you refer to an essential skill or experience using different words, they may not know enough to realise you’re talking about the same thing.

Don’t lie, even by omission

At time of writing, a council is suing a former manager for over a million pounds. The manager had put on her CV that she was in good health, but then took a lot of time off work for a pre-existing condition and eventually retired on the grounds of ill-health, with a generous pension. The court case is on the grounds of ‘fraudulent or negligent misrepresentation’ in answers to questions about the manager’s medical history, and, if the council wins, may have far-reaching repercussions for other job applicants.

Although we hope neither you nor anyone you know will be needing to brush up your CV any time soon, it never hurts to be prepared. All the suggestions above, and more — including interview skills —, are included in our new, specialist course, Get That Job

Doing our bit

We know that times are hard at the moment so we'd like to do our bit by offering this course at a special price of £249 + VAT per delegate if you attend a public course.
Follow this link for the dates of our public courses.

We are also offering a special price if we run this course at your premises. Call us on 01235 60 30 22 for details.

Editor recommends

There are a lot of books on writing CVs, but the one we like is Killer CVs & Hidden Approaches by Graham Perkins

It is aimed at more senior job hunters and so goes into much detail about networking, but it includes a lot of very sensible advice on CV writing and avoiding gimmicks.

Public course schedule

Follow this link for the dates of our public courses.

How to book

To book, call Julia on 01235 60 30 22 ext 28, or use the booking form.

Kind Regards
The Plain Words Training Team

Valid XHTML 1.0!. Valid CSS!

©2009 Plain Words Ltd : HTML by Hairydog