Jonathan Blain is a Bestselling Author and Thought Leader, a Job Hunting and Career problem Solving Expert.
When writing your CV or Resume, it is easy to just think about yourself, usually you are writing it at home on your own, stuck behind a computer monitor tapping away at the keyboard.
For some reason, most people will tend to give very little thought to other people. Things would be very different if we were on a running track in a lane competing with other people, in that situation we’d be very aware of them, we might be sizing them up, thinking about whether we could beat them or whether they would probably beat us. If someone looked, bigger, stronger, more athletic, and they appeared super confident with the aura of a winner, we might feel we didn’t stand a chance.
The truth is that our CV represents us in a game, or a competition. These days with the internet, making jobs widely available, it is rare that we are the only candidate, we are invariably up against other people. The objective of the game is to compete against others and win, therefore on our behalf, our CV or Resume needs to enable us to do that.
There might be various hurdles we need to overcome to get to the finish line in first place, and we could fall at any of these hurdles. What hurdles stand between us and the job offer of our dreams will vary from employer to employer, but these hurdles might be:
There is a potentially long journey your CV needs to go through, from the big pile of applications, through the applicant tracking technology into the long list of candidates that gets reduced to the short list. You could fall at any hurdle. At every stage you are going to be up against other candidates, it is almost inevitable that there will be winners and losers. The job of your CV is to enable you to win, so you have to be competitive. The difference between you and other people matters. Whilst you probably don’t know the other people, you can imagine the types of people that exist in your sector and field of expertise, you need to know what makes you different and unique and to have good reasons why the employer should hire you rather than anyone else. Most people don’t think about these things, we all have a deep rooted fear and doubt, based around the limiting belief that other people are better than us. It is the same thing as seeing the big strong confident person, racing against us on a race track. We can subconsciously give up before we even start, if we believe we can’t win, we probably won’t. There are however countless times in sport where the favourite doesn’t win, where an unlikely outsider that nobody has ever heard of goes on to win. We’ve all heard about the story of the race between the tortoise and the hare or the story from the bible of David and Goliath.
Sometimes the people who appear to have everything going for them lose. What most people do is write their CV and hope for the best, but someone who is determined to play a sport and win, doesn’t just hope for the best, they work out how they could win, and train and prepare so they can win. When you write your CV you can do the same thing.
The more you look at what happens in practice and how things work, the more you will realise you can do to influence your success. Most people assume that employers make decisions on who to hire, purely on the requirements set out in their job description and job advert. Whilst sometimes they do, often they don’t. The requirements specified in a job description could be translated into a long list. If you put a box next to each of those requirements, and ticked each one that you met, you might find you meet all the requirements, yet don’t even get a reply at all, and don’t get invited to an interview. If that has happened to you, it doesn’t seem fair does it? The truth is that many people might be able to tick all or most of the boxes, it is what makes you different to other people, not what makes you the same that will get you hired.
The bottom line, is there is way more to CV and Resume writing than meets the eye. I have my favourite analogy about an iceberg, there is way more under the surface than there is above the surface.
The good news is that there is a huge amount that you can do to increase your chance of success. If you’d like to know more about what lies below the surface, that most people are not even aware of, it would be my pleasure and honour to serve you and help you.
Best Selling Author and Thought Leader, Job Hunting and Career Problem Solving Expert
Tel: +44 (0)787 33 33 0 33