Another common mistake in CV writing and what to do instead.

As a professional CV writer and career coach, I see all the CVs that you have written and want help with when things are going wrong.

The problem is usually that you just are not getting shortlisted, even though you have sent your CV to loads of companies.

Common challenges writing the CV summary.

Writing a good quality summary is not an easy skill, but the clue is in the title. It should be a summary, not a life history.

As much as it is tempting to include everything you have ever achieved within your summary, it will not have any positive impact if it bears no relevance to the role to which you applied.

Let’s think for a moment about the purpose of a CV – it has one single job – to get you to the interview.

So, if it is full of irrelevant information for the role advertised, a full side of A4 is not going to help you.

The best summaries are written in 3rd person (like you are writing about someone else), contain key accomplishments relevant to the role, highlight something about your attitude and skills, and create enough interest that the person reading it wants to find out more about you. In other words, if you write everything you ever did, what’s left to find out – where is the intrigue that sparks the recruiter to want to meet you?

This is why summary writing is a challenge. You need to balance enough accomplishments to tick the boxes but also leave a tantalising hook to make the recruiter want to know more and invite you in to talk about it.

Next time you look at your CV summary, what does it say about you? Does it summarise your key achievements relevant to the role or tell a life history? Does it showcase skills or showcase a job list? Do you lay all your cards on the table or offer a hook to tempt the recruiter’s curiosity?

To summarise, your CV has only one job – to get you to the interview. If it is not doing this effectively, fire your CV and hire another one.

Mapleleaf Vision offers a range of professional CV services, as well as bespoke coaching packages.

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