Recruiters are looking for high quality staff that they feel will be able to add some real value to their organisation and importantly, will stay long enough to make a worthwhile contribution. This clearly presents problems for candidates that have a fairly volatile career history and it is even more difficult if that volatility was in the recent past. This gives the candidate two possible options. The first is to have a bout of severe amnesia and start missing out jobs and doing all sorts of creative stuff to stretch details to cover the gaps. This is not recommended for many reasons, all of which will see you either squirming at an interview when it becomes apparent that “something doesn’t add up” or possibly ejected from a new position when an unexpected reference check is conducted and the information doesn’t match your CV.
So: what’s the strategy for overcoming this?
The very best advice here is to avoid using the classic “reverse chronological” CV format. This is the one that seems to feature in all of the “free CV templates” that are available and using this will make it really easy for the recruiter to reject your application as the very first thing it will highlight will be your unstable career history.
Don’t be tempted to try to explain away the reasons, although: “company ceased trading”, “made redundant”, etc may be appropriate as events clearly were out of the candidate’s control. Even more damaging is to highlight reasons, however true or plausible, that refer to conflict or disagreement: “couldn’t get on with new Director”, “Company reneged on bonus payments” etc.
It’s far better to relegate the “chronological” aspect of your CV to the second page and to write a “skills/achievements” CV. This will mean that you write the first page with 3 basic sections. Always use a well crafted “profile” for the first paragraph and then use two other paragraphs, choosing from: “Key Skills, “Key Achievements” or “Education/Qualifications”. Time spent thinking and writing these in a meaningful style will still represent your very best assets on the first page and will mitigate the possible negatives that may appear on page two. If done to a great standard, the recruiter will have formed such a positive impression initially that it will outweigh any perceived negatives.
This Guest Blog has been provided by David Boxley at Successful CV Writing. Successful CV Writing specialise in producing outstanding CVs for Professionals and Directors. Does your current CV need a health check? – use this link to upload your current CV for a full and frank appraisal. Free CV Review or visit the website at http://www.successfulcvwriting.co.uk and discover dozens of free CV writing tips and articles.