Is there such a thing as the perfect CV?



Contributed by Mark Bremer

I quite like playing golf. However, I would definitely call myself a recreational golfer... at best. I play with friends who are more experienced than I am and some even have a golf handicap. What is very evident is that everyone who plays seems to have an opinion on how to tee up the ball and swing the club to enable you to avoid the rough.

Inevitably, the more advice you get, the more you seem to lose focus, rather than gain clarity on what is the best way to succeed on the fairway. Even if you take advice from a professional, the chances are that one will differ in their technique to another, while both actually offer the same high level of coaching advice.




Does the 'perfect' CV exist?

We recently published an article to help Credit Risk Analysts create a CV that would give them the best possible chance of a favourable response. One individual who provided feedback said “Everybody thinks that they can write a better CV than the next person. The bottom line is that there is no such thing as ‘the perfect CV’; beauty is in the eye of the beholder, and you don't know who that beholder is going to be.”.

This feedback was useful, in that it made us more aware than ever of the multitude of resources that now offer advice on putting a good CV together. And that’s what made me think of golf. There are many so called experts, either through experience or qualification, who want to offer their take on the best way to play.

So you want to compile or fine tune your CV? How do you know where to look for guidance? Who can you trust to offer the advice that is right for you? Should you pay for help or even for someone to write your CV for you?


Who is assessing your CV?

We don’t subscribe to the theory that “there is no such thing as the perfect CV”. Why? The perfect CV is the one that grabs your potential employer’s attention, gets you an interview and a chance to secure the job you really want. But bear in mind that, for most jobs you apply for, there is a good chance that a number of people might review your CV before you’re shortlisted and invited to interview. That list of people could be HR, your potential boss, other team members, and other managers or directors that the role would work closely with. The list can be quite diverse.

So, in this context, then there are a number of ‘beholders’ to please with your CV. Whilst you can’t please everybody, all the time, you can stand out from the crowd with the right information on your CV, and tick the boxes for this potentially varied audience. And key to remember is that, whoever is reviewing the information you provide, they will have a common goal; to secure the best and most suitably skilled and experienced person for the job in question.

Convincing those people that you are worth meeting from the content of your CV alone is absolutely possible and it happens every day. While it’s true that there are now more applicants per job than ever before, this should not be off putting. On the contrary, it should actually just highlight the importance of getting your CV ‘perfect’ for the type of role you are applying for. And who better to do that than the person the CV is selling? It should be seen as a crucial part of your job search to make yours as impressive as possible and for each role that you apply for too.

So the challenge is making sure your CV captures and succinctly portrays the essence of your personality, your strengths, achievements, key skills and experience pertinent to the role in question. The key is to continuously review the content, not drastically of course, but you should definitely tweak relevant aspects to ensure you really do highlight your suitability and strengths for each job application. This is where our tips are designed to help you.


Where can you turn for CV advice?

If you would like to source additional advice on how to make your CV the best it can be, there are a range of different options. Just make sure that they are sources that you feel you can trust to give you an unbiased, honest appraisal and impartial feedback and/or guidance.

Our suggestions include:

  • Your peers, as they will have a good understanding of the requirements of your role, the skills you already have and know your personality too.
  • Online forums that focus on the industry you work within, or are looking to move into can, as these can highlight nuggets of information you may not have thought to include.
  • Independent careers advisors (although these will most likely always charge you for their time).
  • And last, but not least, your recruitment consultant of course.

So, back on the golf course, do the same principles apply? Well, yes they do. Take advice from someone that you can trust, someone that knows the course and has some experience. At the same time stamp your own personality on your shot making, apply the theory to suit your golf style and soon your game will improve too.


Please take a look at the articles ‘CV Tips for Credit Risk Analytics’ and 'CV Tips for Marketing Analytics’ to learn more.

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