Don’t Write Your CV on a Cereal Packet…


We’ve all been there, the blind panic you experience when you know that landing a new job could rest on the perfect CV. This surely has to be the only explanation for some of the CV stories we’ve heard about from our friends in recruitment. Surely?

Presentation is everything

While we’re all aware of the importance of making your CV succinct, fitting your entire life’s work onto one side of A4 was probably the least of some people’s worries.

We’ve heard about people submitting a hand-written CV, written in lipstick on a scrap of paper. Here’s a tip, hand-written CV’s are rarely a good idea, unless perhaps you want to work in the creative industry.

Sarah Parker, HR Manager  has seen her fair share of odd submissions. “We’ve had the CV on the back of a breakfast cereal packet, one presented as the opening credits of The A-Team and one written on the back of an envelope which had been ripped into quarters and posted within another envelope.”

Lying didn’t get Pinocchio anywhere, and it won’t help you either

It can seem tempting to say you got that extra degree, or you spent your summer working for the Prime Minister isn’t it? But most employers will check up on any claims you make on your CV, especially those that seem hard to believe.

It’s also important to think about who to include as your reference. Ideally it should be your current employer, but if for some reason this isn’t possible, don’t just stick your best mate down and hope for the best.

Sarah Parker says, “One person cited his local takeaway as a referee and another talked up his (fictitious) relationships with some of the most famous politicians and pop stars of the day. Needless to say, that person didn’t get the job.”

Beware the novelty CV

It’s a rare recruiter that wants to receive a novelty CV from a prospective employee. If you’re thinking about singing your CV, acting your CV or hand delivering your CV dressed as a pigeon, think very carefully about it.

What might seem like a ‘quirky’ idea that will get you noticed, could just have you marked down as an oddball if it really doesn’t suit the situation.

It can also be tempting to go wild with clipart and crazy fonts to jazz up what seems like a dull CV, but don’t. If you’re a graphic designer or artist that wants to show off their creative skills, then fine, but everybody else should back away from a different wacky colour for every single paragraph.

Sarah offers one last word of advice here. “While we welcome all potential candidates CVs for consideration, we do strongly advise that it is best to follow the traditional format, provide relevant referees and stick to the truth.”

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