In the process of re-writing my CV, I’ve noticed some changes of the standards that I obviously haven’t been aware of until my CV has been marked B by the CV writers and to tell you the truth, I don’t agree with their new findings in terms of assessment.
First of all, the encouragement to write the CV at 1st person singular. Well, of course, it’s all about me, the name it’s written in the title section, I don’t have to reiterate as many times as I enumerate the achievements of the past and the responsibilities that it’s me who did this. Who else? It’s my curriculum vitae. Is it necessary to display the I person so many times, or shouldn’t I rather emphasize the achievements, my deeds and professional activity? I did, I performed, I provided. I’d rather use nouns which are stronger and denominate a whole process than verbs. Of course, I actioned otherwise I wouldn’t have been kept at that workplace? So, nouns instead of verbs and I person. I strongly agree, it’s mandatory to keep a consistent language and style but starting with nouns gives us the possibility to explore the vocabulary instead of being rigid with the I pronoun. Doesn’t scratch your ears when reading loud I, I, I?
No more italics when referring to a title, institution, all same characters? Give me a break!
The CV readers are getting bored when have to skim more than 2 pages? When you have a vast work experience what are you supposed to do, just chop off activities that brought you to the advanced level?
Skills section. It’s obvious that you need to provide examples for each skill mentioned hence this brings me back to my previous paragraph, how can we summarize and in the same time be accurate in terms of work experience. If you are, let’s say, educated in philology but managed to understand and produce conversions of earthworks volumes and quantities, asphalt cubic metres into tones? Isn’t it worth being mentioned?
What if not all the enterprises you worked for were 5 stars ones? If your hotel manager used to overbook and sell 200% over the capacity of the hotel? It was not your duty to question his decisions but manage the 200 people group at two o’clock in the morning although you were working on a morning shift 07:00-04:00 pm? What skill can you emphasize when it was you who had to kindly inform the guests that they would not spend the holiday in the hotel they had booked? Yes, there were excellent packages given, a hotel upgrade, from 3 to 4 stars, a free car for the entire stay, but there were guests that didn’t want to hear and just stayed in for the sake of the trouble. Working under pressure? Stress resilience? How can this be called? Good negotiator, persuasive? Appealing to their enthusiasm to take the offer at 2 o’clock in the morning, tired people that just want to start their holiday? How can you sell that information? Moreover, when the facilities of the hotel don’t help at all and it’s through the staff services that the hotel compensate? It’s your duty to raise the standards, though the guests expect facilities, not only 5 star information, kindness and smiles. Again, where can you put this and not make yourself a disfavour?
What about when you immigrated in a country whose language doesn’t have any similarity with yours and you have good taste in life and aim for the best? You take a pen and a paper onto your hand, get to the beach in your spare time and learn by yourself the language, get a decent job, absorb all information about that country, assimilate the culture and integrate yourself in order not to have a stigma following you and just enjoy life there? What skills are these? Being able to adapt to cultures, civilisations, habits, and people?
Or, just because you work in a touristic environment you miss continuity, say goodbye to people, handle complaints, life events every season and hope one day you will be able to have your own holiday and a job that gives you a more settling environment? But, hey, you jump into the hectic, brutal construction industry, male dominant one, and being a woman just make you more frustrated and eager to escape for another season somewhere on the coastline.
What skills do you need to have when coming to a foreign country and without money, contacts and language spoken you still settle in, obtain decent jobs and reach a social status? Here you are, the WOW factor.
So, dear CV readers and writers, what’s the recipe to satisfy your rigid standards when it comes to immigration, overcoming socioeconomic condition, integration and cohesion of the human rights into nowadays European political and economic changes? You ask standing out from the crown but you set-up rules that eventually frame us in the same template that doesn’t make honour to our life and professional experience? I think these rules like, linking the chronology and avoiding the gaps, are not for all category of people. If one afforded the luxury to travel or just enjoy the time for two months, this is not about unemployment, it is about one’s choice to prioritize and not take consumerism in first hand, about caring about your lifestyle which in our society this is a rare thing, to really be able to be independent and why not take a sabbatical year? Why don’t we just say it loud? Why do we need to make-up and reformulate the little gap just to match to your patterns?
Oh, not to mention about the rigid vocabulary and terminology CV experts encourage you to use, so much praise and propaganda! Doesn’t it smell fishy? Leave the facts speak for themselves! When you say that you worked for a two hundred million euros project it means something, there were resources involved that for sure made you richer, the energy of the people met, the tight deadlines and pressure of the project pushed yourself forward no matter what!
When you say international background this means you met people from all business sectors and all backgrounds that intrinsically made you adapt yourself and overcome barriers, improved and left you more prepared for the next level.
Dear recruiters, CV writers, maybe it’s you that should think outside the box and when you see a very populated with wow factor CV, beware, people that are hiding behind diplomas, qualifications and degrees are not necessarily the most reliable, smart working and great assets for the business. Just because they know to sell themselves and make their non-skills marketable this doesn’t mean they are going to be efficient when working for you.