Blog Post: Why are there still bad CVs out there?

I can’t believe that I am writing this post. I cannot believe that I have to write this post, but my experience over the last week has made me feel it is needed.

There are hundreds, thousands even, of blog posts and webpages dedicated to writing a good CV. They are everywhere and most have pretty similar advice. So why, in 2015, and in particular in the PR/ Communications industry am I still getting inundated with truly terrible CVs??

I received one this week that was five pages long. Five pages! For a Communications position. It also had a sentence that was 32 words long. This from a Comms professional, in an age of 140 characters!

Another CV had two spelling mistakes in the personal profile. The job spec asked for good writing ability and an eye for detail – I stopped reading after the Personal Statement. Now don’t get me wrong, I’m sure I have made errors during my career. I’m pretty sure that if you go through my blog posts you will find some, but this is a CV. For a comms position. And these mistakes were in the first sentence.

I also had a CV that looked like the candidate had spent five minutes on it. No personal statement, no key skills or achievements, just a series of bullet points outlining her responsibilities. While I appreciate that not every recruiter likes a personal statement, a lot do.

I just fail to understand how anyone – particularly in PR – does not appreciate the need for a high quality, error free, concise CV. More to the point, how do they not KNOW this? The CVs under scrutiny were for a position in a very high profile organisation, with a very competitive salary. What is the point of sending your CV in if you are not going to take any care and attention over it?

I was also a bit galled that their recruitment consultants hadn’t gone back to the candidate and coached them a bit. A quality consultant would also not be sending below par CVs! (My experience wasn’t helped by a recruiter arguing with me about why I shouldn’t reject their candidate, buy heyho…)

A CV is not a difficult document to get right. It does not take hours upon hours to pull together, and there are not any ‘trade secrets’ on how to make a CV stand out.

The internet is already filled with good, easy to follow advice. So – to all PR people – please read it, take it in and follow it…

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