By: Sobhan Mohmand, Editorial manager Last updated: 2015
Do not make the mistake of underestimating the significance of your CV. People who do not consider their CVs as important as themselves will lose out big time.
In this article, we’ll try to give a wake-up call to all those people who have this mentality but also to remind everyone else about the importance of writing a good CV…
Martin Yate, a best-selling careers author, states in his book The Ultimate CV Book (2003, Pg.3):
“Your CV must speak loudly and clearly of your value as a potential employee. And the value must be spoken in a few brief seconds, because, in the business world, that’s all the attention a CV will get. The CV takes you only the first few paces toward that new job. It gets your foot in the door, and because you can’t be there to answer questions, it has to stand on its own.”
1) Everyone needs a CV nowadays
No matter what job, or in which industry you’re applying for, you will need a CV in the process of the application. Even jobs that some people consider ‘low-end’ will ask for your CV.
Jobs that are found through word-of-mouth also require a CV (sooner, or later in the recruitment process). The only exception that we can think of is when you’re applying for a job at your dad’s antique shop!
2) You = (your) CV
This simple, non-Einsteinish formula says that you are what your CV shows and tells who you are; after all, it is your personal sales brochure. No matter how good the service or product is, if it is presented poorly, it will be considered of little value. It is as simple as that.
Littleford et al. In their book Career Skills (2004, pg.10) mention:
“The marketplace will initially judge you by your CV and letter of application (i.e. Cover Letter). Their importance cannot be overstressed, in that these two documents are, in effect, your passport to enter the world of employment.”
This point alone should illustrate the importance of writing a good/professional CV.
3) Your first point of contact with the potential employer
You’ve probably heard the expression ‘First impressions are lasting ones’; your CV is usually your first impression with a potential employer. Your CV has the power and authority to either make or break your chances of being invited to an interview!
Bright & Earl in their book Brilliant CV (2001, pg.1) use the analogy of a first date to emphasise the importance of making a good first impression:
“Remember the first date, or the first time you went out with your partner? Did you make sure your clothes were right, your hair right, you were wearing the right perfume or aftershave?
Well, at least that much effort should go into getting your CV right! CVs are ‘first dates’ in the selection process that could land you on a new career path.
Like the first date, they are the first time an employer gets to form an opinion about you – the first impression can make all the difference… The CV is your vital opportunity to present yourself at your best. CVs are important.”
4) The competition is rife in the job market
The good ol’ days of jobs being available to anyone getting a school, college or university certificate are long gone.
What you’re facing now is a monster. It’s called the 21 st century job market.
Securing employment in the 21st-century job market means that you will be competing for a single job with at least a few dozen other highly-qualified and job-hungry applicants.
Can you afford to be left behind?
5) Save yourself time (and headache!)
Since you’re going to write a CV anyway, why not make it of a high standard straight away?
Low-quality CVs do not tend to get much attention at all; this will make you frustrated and damage your self-esteem.
Let me tell you this; the problem is not with you!
It’s not that you’re not good enough for any of the 100 jobs that you have applied over the past few months; it is – most likely – your CV that is not up to scratch! Save yourself time, give the true importance to it, invest some time in writing it and only then start to apply for jobs.
Without the proper CV, you’re fighting a losing battle, I am afraid.
These were just five reasons for the importance of writing a good and professional CV. If you give it the appropriate importance and time; it will improve your chances of being invited to interviews considerably.