The simple CV Writing answer: relevance

Thursday, July 21st, 2011 - How to Write a CV


The simple CV Writing answer: relevance

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I see a lot of good advice about CV Writing and How to Write a CV, but I also see a lot of bad advice as well.

Most of the bad advice is not necessarily because its bad advice. Its mostly good tactical and technical advice, but given without a strategic or contextual position: the thing as a recruiter I think most Professional CV Writers get consistently wrong. Hence what’s the point on advising about bullets, bolding or sections, when their over use creates unreadability?

But the worst CV Writing advice that I ever see if with regards job hunting and application – our new project I Need a Job will address that. Today’s job seekers question is with regards which interim job to take, but as in all CV Writing, question to ask to find the the answer is:

Always look at the question from the employers view point

Hence in this case, the question is: what is relevant experience (for your next ideal job)? Do the potential options give you more or less relevant experience?

While great long term career management is about knowing what you can now additionally write on your CV, short term tactical career management is also about relevance of your skills, qualifications and experiences towards that job application.

John asks: What looks better on your CV, after a period of unemployment: ¬†Unsubstantial Employment Or Meaningful Volunteer Work/Self Study? Let’s say you get made redundant/laid off. Does it look better on your CV/resume if you took up employment without any meaningful responsibility or that you took up something voluntary with substantial responsibility (plus doing some self study)?

In answer: The key to the answer is always to look at the question from the prospective next employers view point: what is relevant experience?

If you know what you want to do next, but can’t find the right opening at present, then keeping your skills up/expanding your skills and doing something are the best options. You have to ask of any activity: what does this add to my CV/resume, to make me more employable in the next desired position?

In this context, either could be the “right” answer!

However, a secondary consideration is your job reference. What kind of reference would each option give you at the end of it?

  • Responsibility should give you references from both managed volunteers, peers as well as high levels of organisational management
  • Self-study could output a report, blog or website which shows progress; possibly even a qualification
  • Employment without responsibility might give you a nice letter from HR confirming dates of employment, but not a lot else.

Hence, go back to the basics: what is my next desired position, and what could I add from these options to make me more employable (relevant experience) in that desired position? Its then a balance of relevance and secondly references to make the best choice.

Good Luck!

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8 Responses to “The simple CV Writing answer: relevance”

  1. Chas Lauters Says:

    You always have great posts, keep it up!

  2. Viantonio Marconi Says:

    Thanks for the info, it was very helpful

  3. Dave Tencer Says:

    I love it! You made my day with this post.

  4. Lorriane Ramsburg Says:

    I wish I can do this one day. Great post

  5. Ed Sardinha Says:

    Wow, an amazing article buddy. Thnkx

  6. Solange Deary Says:

    Spot on with this write-up!

  7. Ayola Says:

    Great post.. Love it!

  8. Jonni Says:

    Boy that really helps me out – Thank You!

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