Your CV is the first time a recruiter will ‘meet’ you. But do you know what? Most people completely waste this opportunity.
You have just a few seconds to make a positive impression before the recruiter mentally labels you. Very quickly they will decide that you are a) unsuitable/ not qualified b) has great potential c) hard to tell.
CVs all the same!
Most CVs actually fall into the c) category because most people create CVs that are almost identical. But when you want to stand out and get an interview invite, you definitely don’t want to blend in with the rest. It’s too risky to be part of that group, because it is all too easy to end up on the ‘not clear, so it’s a no pile’ rather than ‘not clear so we’ll give them the benefit of the doubt’. You need to make it so clear that you are a definite b)- ‘has great potential’.
So how do you do that?
Don’t forget to include YOU
Well, most of the ‘hard to tell’ CVs are difficult to judge accurately because they focus on describing what you have done and not on who you are. Ideally you need to cover both. At the moment, your CV probably just includes details such as ‘Waitress- I greeted customers and showed them to their tables. I took customer orders and delivered food. I dealt with complaints.’ So what’s wrong with that?
If you are applying to a cabin crew job you will probably have some kind of customer service experience. But so will everyone else! If you simply describe what tasks the job involved you are telling the recruiter nothing about what sort of person you are, and HOW you perform these tasks. Not all waitresses perform their duties in exactly the same way, but how can a recruiter tell who is good and who isn’t from a CV if you don’t tell them?
Leading recruiters to the right assumptions
The next issue is that recruiters think they can tell what sort of person you are from your CV, but they often get this wrong. Psychological research has shown that there is a big gap between what you think about yourself, and the impression recruiters make about you from your CV. What can you do to make sure they get the right impression about your personality, attitude and motivations?
How to let them know who you really are
An assessment of your personality is a big deciding factor for recruiters, so firstly you need to make sure you put some personality into your CV! Again, this will involve adding details about how you approach tasks, and why you choose to take the actions you do. For instance; ‘I greet customers at the door with a big smile because I want them to know they are welcome and we’ll do all we can to make sure they have a lovely experience with us’.
How your CV looks will lead recruiters to make assumptions about your conscientiousness- spelling mistakes and poor layout will suggest you didn’t put effort into your CV, so why would you do so in the job? If you provide details about voluntary work recruiters may draw conclusions that you are unselfish and caring, and a strong sporting record may imply dedication, determination and tirelessness.