Author Topic: Creating a CV  (Read 1183 times)

Re: Creating a CV
« Reply #25 on: June 24, 2020, 11:27:41 am »


For someone with experience, applying for IT/technology  jobs, personal details plus skills will take up most of the first page.

Sorry I disagree. You should be able to hit the high notes on one page. If you are any good you will have achievements that speak for the detail, tailored to the role you are applying for.

As a by-the-bye, back in the 80's I was the defacto head of HR for a TV company. We used to get 300+ applications for ANY vacancy, 500 was not unusual. Shortlisting was a brutal process, getting noticed gave the applicant a chance. For me, a hand written cover letter on good paper always did it, I suggest it would be even more effective these days, hand delivering to the office used to be a way of bypassing early filters, probably less so right now as physical distribution is challenging.

citoyen

  • Occasionally rides a bike
Re: Creating a CV
« Reply #26 on: June 24, 2020, 11:43:18 am »
For me, a hand written cover letter on good paper always did it

Horses for courses, but it's not something that would impress me. If anything, it would be a red flag - file under "trying too hard". (Also, my own handwriting is shit so I would feel bad judging any applicant on that criterion.)

Again, I suppose a lot depends on what field you're in. I know my designer colleagues always put a lot of effort into the presentation of their CV, but that makes sense - it's relevant to what they do. For me, it's far more important to make sure there are no spelling errors.

In my view, the key goals with CV presentation are to make it neat and consistent - with the primary aim of ensuring the information is easily accessible and coherent, rather than making a strong visual impression. This can be achieved fairly easily in Word or Google Docs with simple formatting. For some people, templates may help but I find they're never quite right for me.

I once received a CV in Powerpoint. I didn't even open it.

quixoticgeek

  • Mostly Harmless
Re: Creating a CV
« Reply #27 on: June 24, 2020, 11:43:27 am »
If you have a degree, I don't care what your GCSE and A level grades are. I don't care what achievement badges you got in the Brownies. It's super-fun to know that your hobbies include reading books and watching movies, please don't tell me more unless it's relevant to the application.


I really disagree. If I have the CV on my desk for vetting it means it's met all the requirements we had for the job (experience, degree etc...). So now what is it that differentiates people? What is it that indicates a person will fit in well with the team. Having someone who's hobbies indicate they spend their weekends drinking and at football matches, vs another that indicates they cosplay and play DnD, one of those is likely to fit better with your current team, than the other.

I am of the view that the single most important part on your CV is your other interests and hobbies section. Prove to me you're a human, prove to me that you have personality. Prove to me you're someone I wanna be stuck in an office with.

Oh, and don't include a fucking photo. This seems to be the norm in some countries, and I am very very against it, to the point that at one conference I had an argument with a presenter who was saying how important a photo is. I don't care what you look like, and including a photo just makes it easier for people to be unconsciously biased. "He looks a bit weird" "she's ugly" etc...

I also go so far as to not include my DoB on my CV. They don't need to know that information, and it just provides another way for people to discriminate.

Just remember for most companies, their recruitment process is an absolutely dumpster fire of exclusion and bollocks. And I say this as someone who has spent the 6 months prior to lock down touring tech conferences telling people how to improve their recruitment processes.

J
--
Beer, bikes, and backpacking
http://b.42q.eu/

quixoticgeek

  • Mostly Harmless
Re: Creating a CV
« Reply #28 on: June 24, 2020, 11:47:09 am »
ian earlier said something like don’t lie unless you are good at lying.

He’s right, especially if I am interviewing. I pick on things in the CV, obscure things, like “I like taking photographs”, and I ask questions...

It is unfortunately surprising how many times candidates are unable to back up statements on CVS.

And if you do ask a friend to spell check your CV, check they didn't make any changes.

"Let's be honest, the only reason we're interviewing you is we wanted to know what sort of guy puts virgin tester and lesbian converter in the other interests and hobbies section of their CV"

"Um, one that doesn't proof read their friends spell checking."

From a friend who is no longer allowed to spell check anyone's CV.

J
--
Beer, bikes, and backpacking
http://b.42q.eu/

citoyen

  • Occasionally rides a bike
Re: Creating a CV
« Reply #29 on: June 24, 2020, 11:52:09 am »
I am of the view that the single most important part on your CV is your other interests and hobbies section.

The range of opinions on this matter just goes to show that there is always an element of guesswork when applying for a job - you just don't know the proclivities of the person or company you're applying to. Probably best not to try to predict what they want to see.

I don't have an 'interests and hobbies' section on my CV. I did once mention my interest in cycling in the covering letter for a job application but only because it was directly relevant to the position. I've often talked about cycling in interviews though.

ian

  • feat. Undead Jess & Finestre, Queen of Hell
Re: Creating a CV
« Reply #30 on: June 24, 2020, 11:59:03 am »
Frankly, I mostly don't care about hobbies and interests. I imagine most people are interesting in their own way. I will bin anything that says 'I support football club x' though. Quite why people think that sort of thing is relevant, I'll never know. But I hate football. So be careful with those interests. I'm also not arsed if there's a spelling mistake, I make enough of them. I do care that I can read and understand it, and it looks like some effort went into it. I think I'd be OK with handwritten or something out of the ordinary, as long as it's not totally OTT. I think I'd draw the line at costume, but hey, cosplay in the workplace. It could be a thing. Let's be squirrels. What's Thursday, it's Hentai tentacle day, that's what!

Basically, it's a crapshoot, you've got to hope it gets through recruitment agencies, HR, and now, 'AI' and then meet the multidimensional requirements of people like us. I want one page, she wants a book. Welcome to the world of unsatisfiable impossibilities.

I strongly suspect we could just tick off the skills required and randomly select from the pile and get better results.

It does depend on job though, so there's no size fits all. But mostly, you are doomed.
Support the Great Surrey Bear Census 2020

quixoticgeek

  • Mostly Harmless
Re: Creating a CV
« Reply #31 on: June 24, 2020, 12:04:28 pm »
Frankly, I mostly don't care about hobbies and interests. I imagine most people are interesting in their own way. I will bin anything that says 'I support football club x' though. Quite why people think that sort of thing is relevant, I'll never know. But I hate football. So be careful with those interests. I'm also not arsed if there's a spelling mistake, I make enough of them. I do care that I can read and understand it, and it looks like some effort went into it. I think I'd be OK with handwritten or something out of the ordinary, as long as it's not totally OTT. I think I'd draw the line at costume, but hey, cosplay in the workplace. It could be a thing. Let's be squirrels. What's Thursday, it's Hentai tentacle day, that's what!

See I've worked with teams where "Oh, an Arsenal supporter, they'll fit right in actually", we did keep that team at the other end of the building, but they worked.

I've also worked in teams where nearly everyone was a star trek fan, so the DnD player would fit right in there. Etc...

Generally speaking the skills you can teach, the team fit is a lot harder to get.

How else do I differentiate between these 10 people who all have a 1st class degree, all of them have 10 years experience, and all of them can do the job? What is the final differentiation?

Quote
Basically, it's a crapshoot, you've got to hope it gets through recruitment agencies, HR, and now, 'AI' and then meet the multidimensional requirements of people like us. I want one page, she wants a book. Welcome to the world of unsatisfiable impossibilities.

Yep. It really is.

Quote
I strongly suspect we could just tick off the skills required and randomly select from the pile and get better results.

It does depend on job though, so there's no size fits all. But mostly, you are doomed.

I've always had this thought too. But have yet to find an company that would pay me to do the experiment...

J
--
Beer, bikes, and backpacking
http://b.42q.eu/

citoyen

  • Occasionally rides a bike
Re: Creating a CV
« Reply #32 on: June 24, 2020, 12:06:56 pm »
I'm also not arsed if there's a spelling mistake, I make enough of them.

I'm only arsed about spelling mistakes because it's directly relevant to my area of work. And even then I'm only bothered about avoiding making them myself. I'd be forgiving if I received a CV with one or two minor typos as long as the applicant was sound in other respects.

citoyen

  • Occasionally rides a bike
Re: Creating a CV
« Reply #33 on: June 24, 2020, 12:08:57 pm »
How else do I differentiate between these 10 people who all have a 1st class degree, all of them have 10 years experience, and all of them can do the job? What is the final differentiation?

That's what your spidey sense is for.

quixoticgeek

  • Mostly Harmless
Re: Creating a CV
« Reply #34 on: June 24, 2020, 12:10:33 pm »
That's what your spidey sense is for.

What am I supposed to do? analyse the font choice? I need to know more about your personality than just where you worked, and where you studied.

J
--
Beer, bikes, and backpacking
http://b.42q.eu/

citoyen

  • Occasionally rides a bike
Re: Creating a CV
« Reply #35 on: June 24, 2020, 12:17:43 pm »
That's what your spidey sense is for.

What am I supposed to do? analyse the font choice? I need to know more about your personality than just where you worked, and where you studied.

Put them all on the wall, blindfold yourself and throw darts.

To be honest, I've never been in the position of having ten obvious standout candidates with nothing to differentiate them in terms of experience and ability. It sounds an unlikely scenario to me. And even if it did arise, I wouldn't consider what they did in their free time to be the best way to separate them. YMMV.

ian

  • feat. Undead Jess & Finestre, Queen of Hell
Re: Creating a CV
« Reply #36 on: June 24, 2020, 12:20:51 pm »
That's the problem with interests and hobbies though, you might press the wrong button. You are stumbling blindly into dangerous territory. Is that a mine? Kick it and see.

I can talk a lot about fonts. Anyone who says but ian, it's really spelled founts, will be binned. I have actually seen CVs in Comic Sans. It happens more than you'd like to think.
Support the Great Surrey Bear Census 2020

citoyen

  • Occasionally rides a bike
Re: Creating a CV
« Reply #37 on: June 24, 2020, 12:23:48 pm »
I can talk a lot about fonts. Anyone who says but ian, it's really spelled founts, will be binned.

What if they say but ian, it's really spelled typeface?

ian

  • feat. Undead Jess & Finestre, Queen of Hell
Re: Creating a CV
« Reply #38 on: June 24, 2020, 12:34:42 pm »
That I might allow.

I miss proper old school print design. I still get the happies when I open a book or magazine and see a well-laid out page with proper attention paid to the text itself.

I also think that people who squeeze in text by changing the tracking to some vastly negative value should be killed. Slowly. If it don't fit it, edit it.
Support the Great Surrey Bear Census 2020

Re: Creating a CV
« Reply #39 on: June 24, 2020, 12:37:37 pm »

To be honest, I've never been in the position of having ten obvious standout candidates with nothing to differentiate them in terms of experience and ability. It sounds an unlikely scenario to me. And even if it did arise, I wouldn't consider what they did in their free time to be the best way to separate them. YMMV.

Try getting 300 applications for an accounts clerk....

Actually it is the level of appointment that makes it more or less likely how many have suitable experience and ability, being overqualified is another red flag.

What people do in their spare time, and how they approach it, speaks volumes about character and broader motivation and suitability. On a CV it has some merit while at interview, as has been pointed out, it can be illuminating. I used to have knitting and car restoration in mine. But hey, I've not applied for a job for myself in 30 years. (But in recent years together with Miss Ham, my CV writing skills have a high hit level)

ian

  • feat. Undead Jess & Finestre, Queen of Hell
Re: Creating a CV
« Reply #40 on: June 24, 2020, 01:00:54 pm »
Thing is, I don't often they're very honest anyway.

Support the Great Surrey Bear Census 2020

Re: Creating a CV
« Reply #41 on: June 24, 2020, 01:04:28 pm »

I am of the view that the single most important part on your CV is your other interests and hobbies section. Prove to me you're a human, prove to me that you have personality. Prove to me you're someone I wanna be stuck in an office with.

Oh, and don't include a fucking photo. This seems to be the norm in some countries, and I am very very against it, to the point that at one conference I had an argument with a presenter who was saying how important a photo is. I don't care what you look like, and including a photo just makes it easier for people to be unconsciously biased. "He looks a bit weird" "she's ugly" etc...

I also go so far as to not include my DoB on my CV. They don't need to know that information, and it just provides another way for people to discriminate.


+2 to all of these points.

I am very much in favour of aptitude or technical tests. The output from these can be assessed by someone who has not met or spoken to the applicants; giving unbiased input into selection.
<i>Marmite slave</i>

fboab

  • It's a fecking serious business, riding a bike
Re: Creating a CV
« Reply #42 on: June 24, 2020, 02:36:34 pm »
ian earlier said something like don’t lie unless you are good at lying.

He’s right, especially if I am interviewing. I pick on things in the CV, obscure things, like “I like taking photographs”, and I ask questions...

It is unfortunately surprising how many times candidates are unable to back up statements on CVS.

And if you do ask a friend to spell check your CV, check they didn't make any changes.

"Let's be honest, the only reason we're interviewing you is we wanted to know what sort of guy puts virgin tester and lesbian converter in the other interests and hobbies section of their CV"

"Um, one that doesn't proof read their friends spell checking."

From a friend who is no longer allowed to spell check anyone's CV.

J

I accidentally left in "fast cars, loose women, sex, drugs & rock&roll" following a similar incident. It only went to a recruitment agency, and I didn't get the job.

TSS is not Total Sex Score, Chris!

Jaded

  • The Codfather
  • Formerly known as Jaded
Re: Creating a CV
« Reply #43 on: June 24, 2020, 02:41:08 pm »
Ah yes. Tests.

"Very experienced in Microsoft Office"

This means cannot put a formula into Excel, cannot format cells, cannot sort data. If there is a formula it is along the lines of =SUM(a1+a2)*
In Word, multiple tabs, or spaces for spacing. Weird formatting.
In Powerpoint. Just no.



* I fear, like 'to' instead of 'too' and 'que' instead of 'queue', that the battle for proper Excel formulae is already lost.
If you don't like your democracy, vote against it.

fd3

Re: Creating a CV
« Reply #44 on: June 24, 2020, 04:44:40 pm »
CV will depend on the application as well.  I have never applied for a job that even accepted a CV (except for part-time uni work), but if they asked for a CV + Application + Cover letter, or a CV + Cover letter, or a CV (and nowt else) the CV would look very different in each case.
[/I could be wrong]

jiberjaber

  • ... Fancy Pants \o/ ...
  • ACME S&M^2
Re: Creating a CV
« Reply #45 on: June 24, 2020, 05:12:54 pm »
I think it depends on what you are applying for. I've been looking since January and a significant number of applications, most are now via recruitment portals and have pre-sorting based on keywords etc in the background, when you upload your CV they scrape the details off and populate a form for you to confirm/edit so in these cases what your CV looks like is less important to what is actually in it.

Some of the job hunting sites have deals with CV writing places (eg TopCV) and offer a CV review as a partner deal to entice you to use the partner service, so useful for a view of what the machines see when they scrape your CV.  At the other end of the scale are job portals which want circa 3000 words written to answer questions on why you should get the job and don't want to see the CV at all - it seems a lot of the civil service job applications are like this now... latest one today was just a wordpress form to provide contact details, CV and cover letter.

One thing I wish I had done is refresh my CV more often whilst in work, noting accomplishments etc. 20 years with the same company can make you complacent about the value of this and the employment hunt is very different to how it was back at the start of that 20 years!
Regards,

Joergen

Regulator

  • That's Councillor Regulator to you...
Re: Creating a CV
« Reply #46 on: June 24, 2020, 05:17:53 pm »
What tatanab said.

Certainly it will vary according to employment sector.

CVs coming to me get screened by recruitment agency, then my manager.

For someone with experience, applying for IT/technology  jobs, personal details plus skills will take up most of the first page.

Yep. 

In healthcare, quite detailed CVs are the norm.  If the position is being recruited through the NHS Jobs portal then a lot of information is required.  If it's being recruited through an agency then often they will expect the same level of detail as NHS jobs.  Bits missing will mean you're sifted out or questions are asked.

My long form CV is 2.5 pages.  My short form CV is about 1.75 pages.
Quote from: clarion
I completely agree with Reg.

Green Party Councillor

ian

  • feat. Undead Jess & Finestre, Queen of Hell
Re: Creating a CV
« Reply #47 on: June 24, 2020, 07:53:11 pm »
I'd just like to hire people who can do stuff without me having to tell them. I told someone – someone with several degrees and a technical background, a multipage CV to be sure – to draw a diagram. He acquiesced to this task. Eventually. Nothing appeared in my inbox. How am I supposed to send it to you? Well, you used paper in a notepad, I don't know, take a leap and scan it or something. Some more time passes. Nothing. We don't have a scanner. Then take a photo of it with your phone. How hard can this be?

Argghhhhhh.
Support the Great Surrey Bear Census 2020

Genosse Brymbo

  • Ostalgist
Re: Creating a CV
« Reply #48 on: June 24, 2020, 08:17:58 pm »
...and really HR* ...

*yes, also badged as 'talent acquisition' and 'business partners.'
"people success" over here  :facepalm:
The present is a foreign country: they do things differently here.

Re: Creating a CV
« Reply #49 on: June 24, 2020, 08:58:55 pm »
I have mostly applied for and advertised jobs where the CV came with some prose - covering letter, form with a one page "why you?" affair. That's where I'd look to differentiate the similarly qualified and experienced. CV is for facts that contextualize the words in my world.

I've been known to put hobbies, but i tend to think they need to pass the same "clear, quantified" test as everything else. I enjoy reading, but rarely get through a novel will trip me up. I was secretary of the camera club might be a bit dull, but its clear and shows its not just this week's thing. Maybe it filled a gap that my job didn't on the person spec as well. The chances of an interviewer with the same interests seems small in any case, and a team full of football fans sounds like the kind of non-diverse outcome HR should be working against.

My only other bit of advice is to have a long form CV that can be drawn from to make one specific to the advert.

Sent from my SM-G930F using Tapatalk