Think about the last time you stood on the interview chopping block, hopeful and hopped out with the latest gadgets, haircuts and follow-up questions; it may have been ten years, five years, six months or four weeks ago. Your good, hire-me shoes are probably out of date, and your CV flounders in the ether between your entry level job and a few other rungs along the way, not quite communicating the right professional history. You’re already far behind, if you’ve neglected the fleeting fashions of recruitment; think about it, the average person moves between fifteen different roles throughout their career, changing directions at a whim or piece of inspiration. Staying up-to-date no matter where you sit on this moving spectrum will do you significant favours when you eventually decide to move on. The following five changes will never go out of vogue, staying relevant across industries and fluctuations, consistently and subtly setting you apart from the competition as one to watch and perhaps speak to, should the opportunity arise.
All About You: What Do They Really Need to Know?
Traditionally, it was considered a common courtesy for an applicant to include a marital listing, particularly in a more patriarchal hiring world; though it may be upsetting to hear, some HR departments will discriminate subconsciously based on the information you provide, including age, sexuality, ethnicity, religion and geographical address. It is illegal to do so in the Western world and professional representatives from any reputable body would denounce it as an outdated model, including the more corporate orientated Randstad recruitment agencies, but you never know who has their hands on your CV at the other end of an email address. It’s best to leave this information off your application.
Do Include: Name, suburb (the new address), website/blog, LinkedIn and contact details (phone and email).
Relevance: Should You List Every Talent You Have?
Short answer. No. What job criteria or general occupation do you seek to satisfy? Target your list of strengths and skills around highlighting areas that would be advantageous in the eyes of a prospective employer. You want to make yourself sound palatable, interesting and highly contactable, urging the reader to pick up the phone and approach you for an interview.
Tip: Draft up a few different CV’s focusing on specific areas, opposed to trying to satisfy everyone and every business. Be cool, crisp and concentrated, otherwise you run the risk of appearing wishy, washy.
History: Where To Start, Where to Finish, What to Include.
Do you remember that nameless job you had for a while when you were fourteen? Or the contract role you hooked onto during Uni, punching figures and passing hours brainlessly? Unless jobs like this are directly relevant to your future goals, don’t include them. Potential hiring managers never need a blow by blow of your work experience, they just want to get to the meat of what affects the position they’re advertising. Tip: Be clear, provide dates and include examples of personal excellence and development.
And above all? Inject a sense of personality into your application documentation. Hiring managers and HR recruiters pass over hundreds of black and white pages every day. Essentially, you will be reduced to marks on a page, words and facts, verifiable by references and the internet. Stand out by investing in a crisp design, reflective of the industry, and for an extra dash of dazzle, include an about me segment to give a sense of presence to your cover letter and CV.