Hate Your CV? Try Some TLC

I’ve realized lately how many job seekers have written to me saying — more or less — that they hate their CV.

“More or less” because while they don’t often use the strong verb “hate”, they do use other words that imply the same thing: I really can’t stand…am very frustrated with…am so disappointed with…my CV.

A sad situation, but more common that you might think.

The mirror doesn’t lie?

One woman wrote to me recently that reading through her CV was like standing in front of a dressing room mirror with a new outfit on. The same feeling that what she was seeing wasn’t really her because it seemed put on and fake.

I wrote back and asked her if maybe the clothes she’d been trying on had been a style that just didn’t suit her body type and personality. Too formal, too fancy?

A guess on my part, but she wrote back to confirm that it was right. She’d picked something out to impress other people (a job interview, of course), and it wasn’t something she felt comfortable and confident in. Big mistake! She’d hung the outfit on the reject rack on her way out of this ‘chamber of horror’ (her phrase, not mine, though I sure can relate).

A bad phrasing fit

Next, I suggested that maybe her CV was suffering from the same thing?

Was she using words and phrases because she thought they would impress people? Ones like “a results-oriented, bottom-line professional”…or “organized multitasking individual”…or “motivated self-starter”?

If she had been doing that, she wouldn’t be alone. All too often, people think they have to dress for success and write to impress. Which I’d agree is okay — to a certain extent.

But over-the-top dressing and/or writing just doesn’t ring true in the end, does it?

Try some self-TLC (tender loving care)

When it comes to putting words to paper in order to tell readers about your life, use ones that are as clear as possible. Use ones that show you’re comfortable with what you’ve done and what you’ve achieved, both at work and outside of it.

We’re told that we all need TLC in our relationships to others and ourselves. Including in dressing rooms. Including in writing about ourselves for others in the hope that after reading our stories, they’ll want to meet us to learn more about what we can offer their organization.

So try to practice some self-care and TLC your CV with words that both fit and suit you. When you’re done, look at what you’ve written with pride and the certainty that it mirrors the real you. That’s what will help get you the job you want and deserve.

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