Having done a spot of job hunting of recent, and having had no reason to put together a CV for well over 20 years, I set about seeking advice hoping to get it right first time.
Well. To be frank. All the advice given, Googled or otherwise gained was mostly a load of old rubbish. And why? Because all the advice given is by currently employed people with no reason or intention of keeping a CV up to date, probably ever. And to be completely blunt, my advice to them is to MOVE AWAY FROM THE ADVICE COUNTER SO FAST YOU LEAVE A DUST STORM THAT REMAINS PERFECTLY CLEAR IN OUTER SPACE AND BEYOND.
Take the advice regarding ageism – there’s a lot out there. I’m early fifties, and the advice given is: you don’t have to add your age, you don’t have to add the years worked at any given job, and you don’t need to add when you graduated from school/university/college. Oh really? Well have you attempted to complete an online application lately? Because practically every job you apply for these days requires mandatory data input of namely birthday/age, years at job etc etc. IF YOU DON’T ADD IT IN, YOU CAN’T GET PAST THAT SCREEN, AS IN, YOU ARE STUCK AND APPLICATION STATUS = FAILED. Do I hear a suggestion to lie perhaps?
My next favourite – note the sarcasm – is, do not exceed 2 pages. Bullet form key points of each job held. Oh really? Two agencies I used came back to me with, you need to expand big time if you want to get an interview, forget the bullets, give the employer detail and, if you exceed 2 pages so be it. MAKE YOUR MINDS UP PLEASE.
But the thing that really gets my goat going is the request for a lengthy personal statement to include examples of how you can fulfil the duties of this position, and how you would fulfil the personal specifications for said job – they even suggest adding an extra page if need be, meaning, you’d better tell us a lot about yourself or don’t bother applying. And while yes, I raise my hand and agree a personal statement is valid, the reason my goat gets going is that after compiling anything from the requested 500 to 3000 words, you barely get a reply or feedback or anything that gives any reason to believe your hours of work for this literary piece was even read. HAVE A LITTLE RESPECT. HOW ABOUT YOU TELL ME WHY I’M NOT SUITABLE THEN? YOU DO KNOW I PUT MY HEART INTO THAT PIECE OF WORK, DON’T YOU?
Yes I’m having a bit of rant. Yes I am now employed. And yes I’d love to hear what advice you’ve been given, or have given, which you consider to be good, bad or just plain STOOPID