10 Types of CVs that are unlikely to get my vote

by / Wednesday, 16 September 2015 / Published in Latest posts, Recruitment

I’ve seen some interesting job applications over the past year and thought it might be worth sharing some examples of  what NOT to do with your CV…

1. The Novelist

Journalists and copywriters are especially guilty of this. They have not successfully published their own book, peer-reviewed journal article or autobiography yet, and use their CV instead to elaborately illustrate their life story.  Although I’m personally a fan of cover letters with a quirky twist, I am not one for oversharing personal information or a three-page (with no bullet points) introduction letter. Keep it short and concise.

2. The Part-time Model

Nope, not interested. Including a seductive selfie might have worked for the previous jobs you did, but if a full-length bikini shot is not part of the job requirements, you’re definitely not getting that interview. I’m just trying to help here. If you disagree, you should probably keep your waitressing job so you can still have the freedom to go for photoshoots at Hartebeespoort Dam.

3. #ThrowbackTwenties

Someone once emailed me to ask for my postal address so they can post their CV. For a brief moment I was excited, as I haven’t received a handwritten letter (I assumed it would be hand-written) in a while and wanted to experience this phenomenon again. Then I remembered that this wasn’t my grandmother, but someone applying for a job in digital content. I was confused. Then I moved swiftly along.

4. “Their” we go

These CVs make my eyes hurt too much to continue reading. There are so many spelling, grammatical and punctuation errors that I find it very hard to take this person seriously and, with them having applied for a writing position, it’s already making my palms sweat when I think about the number of errors that their prospective editor would need to fix. I’m not passing this one on…

5. The Compulsive Candidate

After losing count of the number of jobs you’ve applied for, you start getting even more persistent by creating mailing lists of possible employers, recruiters and friends and hope that none of them notice the fact that you have just re-forwarded an earlier application, Cc’d in a hundred more people and addressed everyone as Mary.

6. The Closet Creative

This group is similar to The Novelists, except that they are more visually inclined. Designing a CV is the Closet Creative’s dream. They have a really boring office job and nowhere to live out their burning desire to use Clipart and MS Paint, so they grab this opportunity. I’ve once seen a woman’s face (badly) edited onto an eagle’s body, which supposedly symbolised her spreading her wings. Unfortunately, she didn’t end up soaring to a new job

7. All the Single Ladies

Some people might disagree with me on this one, but as far as I’m concerned, your marital status doesn’t – and shouldn’t – influence your ability to do a job. Suggesting that you are in the market for more than just a job is also not the best idea. I received a “Single, but not loving it, LOL” once. Coincidentally, “not loving it” was exactly how I felt about the CV…

8. The Poet

Although clever puns or an unexpected adjective could add to your introduction, I’d only recommend this for the experts. I didn’t know what to make of: “A mediocre world is not my potion”. I also love when people use words they don’t understand. “Please find attached my job application in lieu of…” It’s time to dust off your dictionary and get back to the basics. Google can also work wonders.

9. The Over-achiever

This guy lists all his normal job responsibilities as “achievements” and even adds a few extra skills, including “The internet” and “typing”. When they say you should add your achievements to your CV, this is definitely not what they had in mind. Sorry.

10. The Idol

I have to give it to her, this definitely took a lot of guts! Writing new lyrics for an existing pop song, recording it and even getting a friend to do the rap part must have taken a lot of effort. I’m pretty sure it may have worked for another company out there and that she now has an amazing job that suits her over-the-top personality, but this approach has to be a numbers game and will definitely not work for everyone. I quote, with apologies to Katy Perry’s Dark Horse: “Are you ready for (ready for) the perfect girl (perfect girl), cause once I’m hiiiiiiiiired, there’s no going back!”

*Drops mic*

One Response to “10 Types of CVs that are unlikely to get my vote”

  1. Hugh says : Reply

    Thanks, insightful and funny.

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