It never fails to surprise me what people think will actually help ‘sell them’ to a prospective employer.
I’ve been recruiting (and so, reviewing applications) for over 30 years now and I’ll be honest, what some people write it beggars belief!
And it starts with cover letters:
One of the most unimpressive invitations I ever received from a candidate was: “Let’s meet so you can ooh and ah over my experience.” Seriously?!
Confidence is a good, sought-after competence. However, arrogance can often lead to complacency – and no one wants that.
Then it comes to job history (which elicits all sorts of revelations):
“Please don’t misconstrue my 14 previous jobs as job-hopping. I have never quit a job.” This perhaps reveals something they didn’t mean to impart. And it’s a no from me!
While “My last 3 bosses all said I possess ‘unique talents'” – with the addition that their workplaces could not provide enough incentive for her “special gifts” – leaves you wondering what exactly they were doing 9 to 5! Maybe they were the next Uri Geller.
The Next Uri Geller
Humour is a tool that cuts both ways; used correctly and it can reveal you to be confident and intelligent. But adding “Marital status: Often” or “Children: Various” to your Personal Profile does not.
Experience is another minefield…
Saying “I once compiled 800 lines of software code in 23 minutes, it almost worked’ or “I was working for my Mum, until she moved” isn’t helping your cause.
“I’m currently working in a furniture factory as a drawer”; I admit confused me at first but it didn’t frustrate me as much as a candidate professing “great attention to detale” and having experience of working as a “profreader!” Isn’t that just a little bit ironic.
But I’ll finish with a few comments that provided the richest vein of cringe and in my opinion there is no place for them on a CV, as they should be left for talking through at interview – the reasons for leaving.
- “It was hard work”
- “I had a fight with the boss”
- “Making my company £10 sales in a year”
- “They insisted that all staff get to work by 8:45 every morning. I couldn’t work under those conditions”
- “Responsibility makes me nervous”
- And my final one: “I’m just looking for an easy job, that I can do well, but allows me to leave on the dot and enjoy the good life” – isn’t he such a realist?
But after all the above, one has always stuck out to me. But before I divulge, I’ll leave you with the question: did this one elicit an invitation to interview?
“After receiving advice from several different angels, I have decided to pursue a new line of work”…