Why your CV is like a dating profile
When you walk down the street and pass people you don’t know, you cannot possibly tell what ‘sort of person’ they are. When a potential employer picks up the pile of CVs from people applying for a post they advertised, they don’t know anything about them either. They are relying on an A4 double sided CV to give them a ‘feel’ for the sort of people who are applying.
Each employer or company will have its own flavour. A set of unspoken or spoken values and beliefs that mean that the right sort of people will fit in and flourish in this company. And when employers are seeking people to work in their business, they know what they are looking for even if they can’t put it into words. So you need to put it into words for them.
You need to understand and covey the very you of you, so they get it straight away. The likelyhood is that most people who apply for the same job will have the right skills and qualifications. What is of equal importance is your ‘flavour’. Your approach, your ethics, your outlook, your tenacity and things like that.
So why is a CV like a dating profile?
If you’ve ever been on a dating site you will know there are a lot of profiles. Now unless it’s Tinder where the connection is made by saying you like the look of someone, you will read the blurb they put about themselves to see if they are your ‘sort of person’. Lots will say ‘good sense of humour’ but what does that actually mean! There are lots of different comedians but we won’t all find the same ones funny.
Likes and interests are interesting but do they really help us understand who that person is? In a non-professional football team you will have lots of different personalities, doing different jobs and having different drivers, emotions and ambitions. We want to know if they are the sort of person who likes to be the last one at a party or the one at home in comfies. Or if they care about getting a black friday deal and if they give to charity. If they would be happy with one coat of paint or would have to make sure it is perfect.
Here are some examples from CVs. Take a look and think about what you really know about this person from their opening statement:
Person 1 – Highly-skilled and meticulous communications professional with experience and extensive understanding of implementing and delivering engagement methodologies and communications activity plans.
Person 2 – As an experienced sales manager, my tenacious and proactive approach resulted in numerous important contract wins. My excellent networking skills have provided my team with vital client leads, and my ability to develop client relationships has resulted in an 18% increase in business renewals for my current organisation. After eight years in sales, currently seeking a new challenge which will utilise my meticulous attention to detail, and friendly, professional manner.
Person 3 – Driven Retail Manager with over ten years’ experience in the fashion industry. Proven track record of success, including managing the top performing store in the region, and having the lowest staff turnover rate of all UK outlets.
What do we actually know about any of these people?
You are not like the other peas in the pod
Give them a flavour of the sort of person you are. Let them know how your flavour will compliment theirs to make the perfect dish. Here are some questions you can ask yourself to help you be clear about what to write:
- How do you cope under pressure?
- When are you at your best?
- How do you deal with problems?
- Are you a curious person?
- Do you like unfinished business?
- Do you have to win?
- Do you like variety or routine?
- Are you better working alone or in teams?
- How do you deal with setbacks?
- When are you at your best?
- What are your goals?
- Are you resourceful?
- What makes you different?
- What is your energy level like?
So once you have the answers to these questions you should be in good shape to write your personal profile for the top of your CV. Something that gives them a feel for ‘the sort of person’ you are.
Quick review of yesterday’s list:
Yesterday you wrote a list of things of things that make you lucky. Lucky you! Don’t forget to add to that one often as it’s an important one.
Your eighth list:
The eighth list you have written in the exercise above is your ‘I’m the sort of person’ list. The last part of this exercise is for you ask other people what sort of person they think you are. It’s also a good idea to actually get feedback from others as it will give you new insights about yourself. Add the bits that they say that fit well into your list.
If you want someone to proof read your CV and give you honest feedback on your personal profile I am happy to do that for you for free if you mention this blog post. I am specialised in values work which is what makes us who we are and help lots of people get to know themselves better and feel more comfortable in their own skin. Some people say that self awareness is the most important development that you can do.
Once you get an interview
I often see clients before job interviews or presentations to help them control their nerves and give them a confidence boost. Once you’ve secured an interview give me a call 07530 890089 and let’s get you wooing your employer in the interview and securing your dream job.
See you tomorrow.