Say NO to CV Vagueness (and here’s how…)

A recruiter can smell a vague CV from a mile away – and the stench is overpowering. The candidate has seemingly done it all, but…hasn’t really done anything. All the right skills and attributes are listed, but…there’s a tangible sense of emptiness about it all. The CV is full of words, but nothing is really being said.

And in the bin it goes. Ugh.

A vague CV positions the applicant as someone who (1) possesses poor communication skills, (2) lied about his history, (3) has something to hide, and/or (4)  has simply nothing of worth to offer an organisation – a dead end candidate.

Image: stevendepolo

Vagueness hasn’t only crept into the world of CVs. He’s also found quite a nice little niche in the interview stage…

“Mark, can you cite an example from this previous position where you demonstrated initiative?”

“Uh, sure…let’s see…I had to…see, we would often…”

While Mark is an initiator, he will still proceed to hazily stumble through a long-winded and ambiguous narrative. He’ll be lucky if he even answers the interviewer’s question.

And off the list he goes. Vagueness celebrates another victim.

The big question: What’s the source of this epidemic sweeping through the job seeking world?

Simple. Candidates simply can’t remember what they’ve done all these years.

Imagine…after holding a job for a number of years, you’re looking for a new position. Resume-update time! As you anxiously search for a copy of that dusty old CV, you’re racking your brains trying to recall what you’ve since accomplished. You know you were (very) busy. You know you were doing great work. But…you just can’t remember the details. (And as any recruiter will tell you, it’s the details that matter.)

It’s at this desperate point of the story that our seductive friend, Vagueness, offers you the help you needs. And it looks like a good deal.

This scenario is all-too common. Elizabeth Bacchus, US Career Advisor, found that 67% of job seekers only update their resumes when applying for a new job. And here lies the root of our problem. As time marches on, recalling one’s previous professional activities becomes an increasingly difficult job. And when it comes the inevitable moment to effectively communicate this information, the task becomes near-impossible.

However, nine percent of people intelligently avoid this frustration by updating their CVs every one-to-three months. A mere thirty minute is all they need to reflect on their recent projects, challenges and accomplishments, and appropriately refresh their CVs. This regular exercise also enhances their ability to convey powerful, relevant and concise anecdotes in future job interviews.

There’s no excuse – make a time now, and stick to it. You’ll feel far more confident, and better demonstrate your true capabilities. How’s that for a decent new year’s resolution?

But then again, you can always take up Vagueness on his deal…

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Categories: Articles for Job Seekers, The Resume

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