Written by Julie Holmwood
When I was a recruiter I regularly received in excess of 300 CVs per day. I thought I would share with you some guidelines for submitting your CV to an agency
RELEVANCE: Do not bother to look at our industry specialism. Just because we are experts in business resilience recruitment and you are an HGV driver, should not concern you. Our day is much longer than yours and we like nothing better than to spend it wading through irrelevant CVs
SUBJECT: Don’t tell us what you are looking for in your cover email. We are good at guessing and it gives us something to do in the quiet moments
TAILORED CVs: When you respond to a specific vacancy don’t bother to amend your CV to include all of the relevant experience you have for this job. We use magic and crystal balls as standard procedure and we will ‘know’ that you have spent the last year doing this exact thing our client wants, even though you haven’t told us
SALARY: Don’t tell us what you are currently earning. That is top secret classified information and we are going to use it to get you a lower paid job. The fact that we get a percentage of what we get you, is not relevant to this equation. We are always trying to make you move for less money than you want
REJECTION: If we send you a polite ‘thanks but no thanks’ email because your skills don’t match our area of expertise (even after consulting the ball) and we inform you that we will not be looking for vacancies that will be right for you, sending us an insistent angry reply will change our mind and will inspire us to want to represent you to our clients
PUNCTUATION: We have spent so many years reading and editing CVs, you don’t need to punctuate or edit yours. Don’t bother to spell check it, put it in chronological order or try to make it presentable in any way. You deprive us of an hours fun trying to decipher what you meant
PROFESSIONALLY WRITTEN CVs: Even better is to send your misspelt, higgledy piggledy CV as a PDF. It would be silly to allow us to edit your CV. You never know what we will do with it after all our years in the field. You on the other hand, the creator or your one document, are right to try to protect it, because you know better than us what our clients want to see
SPECIFIC ROLES: If you spot us advertising a vacancy you’ve already applied to via another agency do make sure you send us your CV and lie about your previous application. Clients love getting the same CV multiple times and they can see how keen you really are as a result. Never does it indicate desperation on your part or unprofessionalism on ours
SUMMARY: Above all, don’t treat us like people who would like to be on your side and get you the job of your dreams. Treat us like the enemy at all times. We love helping people who don’t like us. We feel really confident that you will be polite and personable at interview, when you have demonstrated nothing but rudeness and indifference to everyone in our office.
Writing these guidelines has given me a chance to take a humorous trip down memory lane. I hope they give you a small insight to why recruiters can be delete key happy with your prized document
The truth is that the Internet age has made it better and worse for recruiters. Here is a good rule of thumb. If you had to write your CV by hand, would you be sending it to this agency and for this position? If the answer is no, the fact it is just a click of the mouse and infinitely easier send, shouldn't make you tempted to do it. Focus and relevance are key!
Author of 'Get That Interview' and 'Click Your Way to Career Success', Julie is the Lead Career Coach at Churchill Brook. She works with clients to develop their personal branding, promote themselves via social media and to find their passion, both in the work they are doing and the work that they want to do. Her approach is that of part coach, part mentor and part consultant. She is available to work with limited clients on a one-to-one basis OR via our executive CV and LinkedIn product options (check out ‘what we offer’).
Before joining Churchill Brook in 2009, she spent twelve years as an international headhunter, where she successfully helped her clients to recruit exceptional people. She is an expert at getting candidates noticed by companies and had one of the highest success ratios for CV submission to hire that we know of within the recruitment industry
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