Jonathan Blain's Blog

In this blog you can expect, thought provoking, innovative, creative, insightful and game changing: new thinking, new ideas and new solutions about Job Hunting and Career Problem Solving and Issues, and CV and Resume Writing.

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There are some things that seem obvious, that we can just accept as fact, that when looked at closer are not as true or straight forward as we might imagine.

In visual terms there are optical illusions, where things appear to be one thing, but are actually something else. There are many striking optical illusions; one that hit the headlines most recently, was the case of the dress in the media that when look at by some people was seen as being blue and black, yet when seen by another group of people it was clearly seen as being white and gold?


Some People See This Dress and Blue and Black - Others See it As White and Gold

The Guardian Newspaper explained the phenomenon as follows: “It appears to be because of different interpretations of how the scene is illuminated. The brain automatically “processes” visual input before we consciously perceive it. Differences in this processing between people may underlie The Great Dress Debate”.

The truth is that as human beings what we perceive and believe to be true, sometimes isn’t. Seeing the truth or simply changing what you perceive and believe can change the status quo, it can help you to turn CV failure into success, or success into even greater success or if you haven’t yet started, it can enable you to short cut straight to the best approach, that will deliver you the best results as quickly and effectively as possible. People who achieve extraordinary things, often do so as a result of seeing things differently, thinking differently and acting differently.

Seven years ago I decided I wanted to discover the answer to two simple questions:

  1. Why do some CVs / Resumes work and others don’t?
  2. What do you need to do in writing your CV / Resume to achieve the very best results?

Apparently, pretty simple questions, but finding the answers proved anything but, after seven years of research study, trial and error, I finally figured out the answers.  Sadly this article doesn’t to set out to fully answers those questions for you, but what it does is offer you some game changing insights, or myth busters that can help you to see, think and hopefully act differently.


Myth Number 1 – My CV / Resume is all about me.

The most obvious fact is that your CV / Resume / Curriculum Vitae is about you, it has your name and contact details at the top, it contains your profile, career history, your qualifications, experience, achievements etc. In that respect it is clearly all about you.

However there is an alternative way of seeing and thinking about your CV, that is nothing less than a game changer, a disruptive innovation.

It involves changing your paradigm, and making a paradigm shift. In a paradigm is “a new way of looking or thinking about something”.

In the new paradigm, your CV / Resume is not just about you, it is actually as much about the employer as it is about you. To understand this you need to answer the following questions:

  1. Who is your CV / Resume for, who is the recipient?         It is for the employer isn’t it.
  2. Who does the employer care more about, you or them?              The employer cares more about themselves than you.
  3. Are employers going to use your criteria or their criteria to decide who to choose? It is the employers who get to decide what criteria they are going to use.

The truth is your CV is part about you and it is part about the employer. You are the product / service that the employer is considering buying, you are the seller, and they are the buyer. Your CV / Resume is effectively your sales brochure / marketing literature. All marketers know that the best marketing copy addresses the wants, needs and deepest desires of the prospective buyers and that to sell something you need to competitively position it versus other alternatives. The same is true of your CV. To be most successful, adopt and employer centric approach, and a servant mind-set.  If you do this you realise that to start with you need to know a lot about the prospective employer.

Myth Number 2 – I just need to make my CV / Resume stand out

It seems obvious doesn’t it, the employer has potentially received large numbers of applicants, they could have a big pile of CV / Resume / Curriculum Vitae to sift through; you want yours to stand out, don’t you?

Having a stand out CV would seem like a very clear goal why wouldn’t that always be the best strategy?

The truth is it matters a great deal what your CV stands out for. Your CV might make you stand out as the number one idiot, the stand out person to definitely not hire.

The bottom line is that you have to stand out for the right reasons. You could submit your CV on pink paper and spray it with some perfume, like on the film Legally Blonde, but it may or may not deliver the results you hope for, because it all depends upon how the recipient would perceive it.

Myth Number 3 – Employers are going to hire the best candidates

Most people believe the job of your CV is to make yourself look as good as possible, on the basis that the will want to hire the best person. Surely this assertion can’t be wrong can it?

It might be a nuance, but the reality is that employers don’t necessarily want the best person, they want the best person for them. Of course the two may be one and the same, but equally they may not.

Someone with 2 PHD’s from Harvard, may have the brain the size of a planet, but they might be useless in the wrong job. There are all sorts of reasons why the best, most impressive people don’t get hired which may include:

  • They will be too expensive.
  • They will make everyone around them look bad and will disrupt the status quo.
  • They won’t be satisfied with the pay.
  • They may be perceived as a threat to their new boss.
  • They are likely to get head hunting so they won’t stay around…. Etc.

Employers typically don’t want  the best people, they want the best people for them.

Myth Number 4 – There is a right way and a wrong way to write a CV

So your CV is not working, you feel you need to go to a CV writing professional who knows how to best write a new CV. You get your CV written and take it to another CV writing professional to assess, what do you think is likely to happen? The chances are they will make a load of comments about how to improve you. Just supposing you do that and take it to another CV writing expert, what do you think they are going to say? The chances are that they too will make suggestions for improvement.

The truth is CVs / Resume / Curriculum Vitae are a little bit like beauty “it is all in the eye of the beholder”.

There isn’t a single right or wrong way to write a CV. That might be an inconvenient truth, but it is a truth nevertheless. Does that mean nothing is wrong? The answer is probably not, if your CV is not clearly laid out, and your information isn’t ordered in a logical structure, it is going to make it more difficult for a prospective employer to read and understand. Having an error strewn CV probably isn’t a good think either, but it all comes down to how the recipient perceives you and your CV.

This article is written by bestselling author and thought leader Jonathan Blain, who is a pioneer at the vangard of progress, human endeavour and enterprise and helps people to:

1. Live better lives.

2. Have better careers.

3. Run better businesses / organisations.

4. Make the world a better place.


For the world's best CV / Resume training and support, a game changing new approach, see

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