By: Sobhan Mohmand, Editorial manager Last updated: 21 Oct 2018
Writing a CV is something that almost everyone needs to be able to do. However, there are a lot of myths and misconceptions about the various aspects of writing CVs that many people believe in.
Below you will find 7 CV myths and the reason for why they are wrong:
Fact: If you are experienced and decide to include all the jobs that you had since you left primary school you are pretty much going to end up shooting yourself in the foot.
Having many jobs on your CV might tell a potential employer that you are…
Best practise: only include a few related jobs and work experiences, and skip the rest.
Fact: A CV doesn’t have a set length. As a general rule of thumb, your CV should not be longer than two A4 pages.
However, there may be cases in which your CV will be one page or even three. The length of a CV depends on the candidate’s personal circumstances and the job that they are applying for.
For example, a typical school leaver CV would only be one page long, and typical executive CVs are usually around 3 pages.
Fact: Having excellent education is highly desired for most jobs but there are also many jobs in which relevant work experience and practical skills are much more important than one’s education and qualifications.
For these types of jobs (e.g. customer services or sales), if you have a solid background in that particular industry the employer will probably not care much about your performance in school, college or university.
If you have got excellent education and qualifications, great!
If you haven’t, don’t be afraid to apply for jobs; just put more emphasis on your work experience, skills and personal attributes rather than your education.
Fact: Frankly speaking, nobody is interested in our wonderful life journey from our birth up until the present day, and certainly not employers.
What employers are looking for is whether you are a suitable candidate for the job you are applying for.
Besides, employers will only spend a few seconds reading your CV so make sure it is short, punchy and to the point!
How can you show that you are a viable candidate for the job?
Only write in your CV relevant, important and significant things that will add value and weight to your job application.
Fact: Writing references on your CV is optional and not mandatory.
Some candidates include them whereas others do not.
In fact, we – among many other career experts – strongly advice against it.
Writing “References are available upon request” is sufficient, and it also frees up valuable space that can be utilised for more important information such as education, work experience, skills and qualifications.
Fact: We have already discussed the implications of lying on a CV.
What we will tackle now is the hidden message behind this myth which basically says that ‘you are never good enough to get a job if you are truthful.’
The reality of the matter is that millions of applicants have the right skills, education and work experience to get a job and do well in their job. The reason why many of these applicants fail to get job interviews is that they do not put enough work, consideration and effort into presenting all their unique selling points and strengths on their CVs!
In other words, they don’t know how to market themselves to the prospective employer. It is not because they are not good enough or that they need to lie to make themselves appear more qualified.
Fact: It may be true that applying for a job at one’s aunt’s antique shop might not require a CV; however it is a huge proclamation to claim that many jobs do not require CVs.
There may be some companies that may only require you to fill in a job application form, basically providing them with all the information that you would put in a CV. However, these companies are few in number.
Among the few exceptions that we found of jobs where a formal CV was not required was for a non-permanent part-time job as a CD packer in a warehouse. Needless to say, their customer service and employee satisfaction surveys were rock bottom.
Aside from these types of jobs, the vast majority of the jobs still require the applicants to submit a CV, regardless of the job role or industry. Application forms have not yet replaced the need for CVs.
7 CV myths busted – many more to go!