How to address ‘weaknesses’ in your CV.
In an ideal world, it would never be too hot or too cold. We’d all get good night’s sleep; losing five pounds would be as easy as eating a chocolate bar, and our job history and CV would be perfect
Sadly the world isn’t like this, and often times the thought of having to write a CV can induce panic. So, what do you do, when you’ve had a less than perfect job history? Will this stop you making the next step or getting the dream job? Saleslogic recruiter Jonny Hudspith shares his advice for fixing those CV ‘weaknesses’.
There are holes in my work history-‘Most important thing is to acknowledge they are there. If there is a gap of more than a few months with no explanation, that is a huge red flag. Even if you were travelling, putting that in with a brief summary of what you did is way better than a gap.’
I’ve jumped around… a lot – ‘Similar to above, addressing these issues is paramount. As a recruiter, I will discard a CV for as little as two short stints in a row if the reasons are not mentioned. These could be perfectly plausible, e.g. contract roles, or company restructuring. Always include a reason for leaving if you were only at a role for less than 2 years.’
I didn’t always hit my target –‘Leave any figures under 80% OFF your CV unless it was your first quarter, building your pipeline etc. and your following quarters show improvement. Again if you were under target, this could be for a number of reasons, not just your inability to close. Not hitting your target is a large drawback when applying for a sales role, but often it comes down to what you were selling and to whom, rather than how much. In these scenarios, focus on the difficulty/niche aspect of the sales process.’
I want my next job title to be one I never had before – ‘Unless you are a junior candidate (2nd Jobber or thereabouts) or are willing to take a step back in wages (which never looks good to employers) you are going to be fighting an uphill battle here. If the remit of the job is the same and only the title is different, this is quite common, and is no problem at all.’ However, if you want to make a complete change, be realistic with your expectations. ‘If you have been selling office supplies for 7 years, and you’re telling me you’d like a software sales job with more pay and seniority, then you need to rethink, as that’s not going to be easily achievable.’
There are a few things that aren’t true on my CV- ‘By all means be creative with your wording, slightly overselling yourself is par for the course in a job search. However downright lies are a real shot in the dark. 99% of the time they are easily spotted, and employers will frequently ask for a P60, so any discrepancies in numbers will not fly.’
So, you’ve redone your CV, made clear the ‘weakness’, your recruiter can now do their bit and be your champion! Good luck with your job hunt!
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