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Armed Forces CV Writing – Expert Advice, Tip Series Day 7

7 Items You Should NEVER Include On ANY CV, Military or Civilian – Tip Series, Day 7 . . . .

Welcome back folks  here’s the last of our tips on what you should NEVER include on your CV. Look out for the next series, which will be 10 things you should ALWAYS include. Remember, we’re talking about the CV here, NOT an application form or other application process. I mention this because, increasingly today, companies are conducting their recruitment process via an online form rather than the submission of a CV. Some pundits even suggest that the CV is dead as an interview-winning tool, but it will always have a place, particularly for applications to smaller companies and organisations.

Here is today’s tip, the last in this series:

Never, never, NEVER include details of your present salary, your salary history, or what your current expectations or requirements are.

Got that? It’s worth repeating:

Never, never, NEVER include details of your present salary, your salary history, or what your current expectations or requirements are.

We see perhaps 100 to 150 CV’s per week for either review or rewriting. Approximately 5% of these include such details. You may think that this gives focus to the CV, a “stick in the ground” for a future employer to work to, or to tell them what you will or will not accept. All of these will potentially consign your CV immediately to the circular file, completely disqualifying you from ANY chance of getting an interview. There are a whole raft of reasons for this, all of which, as soon as I mention them will be glaringly obvious.

Firstly, dealing with salary history, it has absolutely no bearing on the future. Conditions change, “going rates” for a particular skill or qualification alter – sometimes considerably, plus of course inflation plays a part, as does the length of time you have been in a particular role. If you’ve had a few different jobs or positions, these numbers, plotted on a chart (even mentally, which is what a reviewer will be doing) may paint a picture you wouldn’t be proud of.

Secondly, and this really covers all of the reasons for not including any salary information whatever, it puts a finite number on what you believe you’re worth.

Absolutely disastrous.

Your number could be wildly optimistic, in which case the potential employer will write you off as a dreamer. The number could be extremely pessimistic, in which case the potential employer will either think you incompetent, or – worse – push his or her luck and try to get you cheaply. Neither scenario is desirable.

Finally, you could be disqualifying yourself for the sake of, literally, a few pounds or so. For example, if the employer’s upper limit for the position is 35,000 and you have indicated that your salary target is 35,500 there is a good chance your CV will be discarded. This could be despite the fact that you may be prepared to accept as little as 32,000 in a negotiation process.

Conversely, you may indicate that you will accept 50,000, while the employer has in mind that he’s prepared to pay 60,000 for your particular expertise. This can work against you in two ways. The employer may decide before you even get the chance to get in front of him, that you must be deficient in some way, or may fall short of his expectations, simply because you appear to have undervalued your skills.

Alternatively, he may decide to interview you and potentially save himself 10,000. Now, you may consider this acceptable if it means you get to interview and may therefore get the job. However, you will be forever at a disadvantage in any future salary negotiation, and your reputation in the sector could be damaged for a long time to come.

In summary, you should never put anything on the face of the CV that could potentially disqualify you from interview (sound familiar?). As stated in earlier tips, this completely kills the whole point of the exercise, which is to get you in front of a decision-maker. Remember, it’s not the best candidate that gets the interview, it’s the candidate with the best CV!

Hope you’ve enjoyed this short series of tips, and more importantly it’s helped you clean your CV up! Look out for our next series in a week or two that will help you get all the ESSENTIALS onto your CV. Simply do this, and you will be ahead of 85% of your competition!

Useful Information for Armed Forces Leavers . . . .

royal navy
royal navy
Curriculum Vitae Standard Format: Office of Academic ...
How to Write a Resume: Examples of What Not to Do - CBS News
How To Write A Cover Letter That Gets Attention
Ex Military Careers
Career Services Industry Conference Features Top Authors and ...
10 Resume Errors That Will Land You in the Trash - CBS News
PCVWS - Professional CV Writing Services
Resume writing services by Kentent
Top 10 Job Interview Mistakes - CBS News
Fudging the Facts on a Resume Is Common and Also a Big Risk ...

Military CV Writing Service – Expert Advice, Tips Series Day 6

7 Items You Should NEVER Include On Your Ex-Military or Civilian CV – Tip Series, Day 6 . . . .

Congratulations if you’re still with us  at least you’re serious about improving your CV!

Today’s “no  no” is giving reasons for leaving a previous job. Before we go into detail let me assure you that it doesn’t matter what the reason was, or how positive you think it is, the reader will always be able to put a negative spin on it. For that single reason, you should NEVER give a reason for leaving a job on the face of the CV.

One reason, which comes up frequently, is that the candidate left for career advancement reasons (more money, more experience, personal and professional development etc). These all sound like excellent reasons for leaving a job. Indeed, they ARE excellent reasons for leaving a job, but it’s wise to keep those reasons to yourself.

However positive, progressive or forward-thinking you think these reasons may make you appear, a potential employer simply sees that you will just use their company as a stepping stone to greater prospects and opportunity for yourself. What you need to consider is that the employer is looking for a solution to their current problems that they can simply plug-in and forget.

The recruitment process is expensive. Training of new employees is expensive. If you’re only go to stay a few months, or even just a year or two, an employer sees you as a cost to the business. Ideally, you want them to see you as an investment, tirelessly producing a significant return for them.

People often think from a purely selfish or egocentric position. And that includes me and you.

Another reason that comes up from time to time is that the candidate had a “personality clash” with a previous employer. They wave this reason around like a flag, with themselves as the injured party. An employer sees an entirely different scenario. For them (and I respectfully suggest this applies to you and everyone else, actually) there is no such thing as a personality clash. There is simply an inability or reluctance of an employee to fit into their organisation. If you’re stupid enough to put such a reason onto your CV, or worse refer to it in an interview situation, then you might as well sign on at the Job Centre now. You will be unemployed for a long time.

There are also “softer” and less contentious reasons for leaving a job, such as a roofer breaking a leg, for example, thus rendering himself unemployable for a period. Citing this reason may (just) be acceptable on a CV, but if reference to it can be avoided, it is better. Other instances of sickness or disability should certainly not appear on the CV. Again, look at it from the employer’s perspective; is this going to be a recurring problem for them that’s going to cost time and money if they employ you?

Divorce, relocation or emigration, taking a career break, and many other reasons can have negative connotations. Remember, it’s not the way you perceive the situation that counts. It’s the way your potential employer sees it. Admittedly, there are some reasons that really shouldn’t disqualify you, OMIT them anyway. They’re not relevant, and have the potential to rule you out of the running. So why include them?

Hope you’ve found the Tip Series useful so far; look out for more free advice in tomorrows tweet!

Useful Information for Armed Forces Leavers . . . .

professional cv writer for ex-military
professional cv writer for ex-military
Specific Examples for Showcasing Temporary Employment On a ...
Why do tanks have these? - Yahoo! Answers
Royal Navy Website
Twitter / @TheAdlerSchool/Colleges/Schools
.cv encyclopedia topics |
Resume Writing Workshop
The Federal Resume -
How do you convert a military resume to a civilian resume ...
resume: Definition from
How do i write a good cv? - Yahoo! Answers

Professional Military CV Writer Advises….Tips Series, Day 5

7 Items You Should NEVER Include On Your CV (Military Transition or Civvy) – Tip Series, Day 5 . . . .

Today’s tip is another that is highly subjective (there’s that pattern again).

NEVER include your Marital Status.

As with the earlier very subjective matters discussed in this series, the issue of marital status should not make a difference; indeed it’s legislated against.

Unfortunately though, hirers or recruiters are (allegedly) members of the human race. And forget the supposed neutrality and objectiveness of artificial intelligence scanning your CV; it’s programmed by humans. Humans have inbuilt subconscious prejudices. For example, consider these deprerssingly common scenarios:

  • A married female may be regarded as more emotionally stable than her single counterpart.
  • The likelihood or otherwise of pregnancy and maternity leave may also feature here, particularly when an employer needs to choose between otherwise equal candidates. If one is “of child-bearing age” (whatever that means today), is she more or less likely to get hired?
  • A more senior, single male, may be perceived as potentially homosexual (in and of itself discriminatory), or even as a threat to an insecure single female employer.

No need to elaborate further really. Enough has already been said about subjectivity and subjective prejudice earlier in the series. Another word for subjectivity in this context, by the way, is perception. Suffice to repeat that it is unwise to include any information or characteristics that are not relevant to the job or that can potentially weaken or undermine the probability of the CV securing an interview for you.

Look out for the next free tip in tomorrows tweet! It’s a blinder for a Saturday, when you have time to think and ponder a little!

Hope you’re finding these tips useful – don’t forget to leave a comment if you feel there are arguments for or against, or if you simply want to ‘vent your spleen’!

Have a great weekend.

Useful Information for Armed Forces Leavers . . . .

professional cv
professional cv
40 Tips For Writing Effective Resumes
ArmedForcesCVs - Twitter
British Army Website
Resume Business Cards
Resume writing services by Kentent
Objective | Define Objective at
How to Get a Good Job Resume Writing for Administrative Assistants ...
CV (@CharlieCV) on Twitter
How to Write a Resume: Examples of What Not to Do - CBS News
Doctoral Resources | Capella EdD Program Information

Expert Military CV Writing Help – Tips Series, Day 4

7 Items You Should NEVER Include On Your Military (or Civilian) CV – Tip Series, Day 4 . . . .

Yesterday’s tip, and the previous two, should have given you plenty of food for thought. You will have seen a pattern emerging, i.e. that including anything of a subjective nature on the face of your CV is career suicide. Today’s tip is a little more straightforward, and that is:

NEVER include the date the CV was prepared, or worse – today’s date!

The reasons are simple.

Many people, when constructing their CV, do so on a “work” computer that automatically includes a path to the file (for example C:/Documents/Personal/CV2011) in the document footer, which often “helpfully” includes the date the document was prepared. It’s so commonplace that we don’t even notice it. However, if your job search takes a while (and it can, if you don’t get a good professional CV written ), the reader will immediately be able to determine how long you may have been out of work. This can obviously affect what they consider to be your suitability for the role applied for, and may disqualify you. So make sure you leave it out, or clear it from the footer before sending.

(Incidentally, it’s always a good idea to put page numbers into the footer or header, in case the pages get separated. For this reason, you should always put your name and a simple descriptor there too, e.g. Stephen Thompson, CV Writer Page 1 of 3.)

If, as we’ve seen on some CV’s, today’s date is included then other issues may come into play. If the date is a live data field (i.e. it inserts the current date when the CV is printed or saved), then again if the job search takes any length of time there will be an ever-increasing gap between your last employment and the date of the CV. If the date is inserted manually the same process will occur, but will need to be physically changed at each save.

The worst case scenario is even more dire. In an agency environment, it would be possible for differently dated versions of the same CV to be present on their database, which may confuse recruiters and employers. Anything which requires brainwork, particularly on the part of a third-party, could result in deselection.

A useful device which can cover quite a wide gap from the end of your most recent position, is to include the word “Present” in the “to” part of the dates span. For example, “March 2011 to Present”. While not suggesting for a second that you should lie in your CV, there is absolutely no point in including prejudicial information. Be selective in what you ‘disclose’. The objective is to get the interview; you can explain any gaps or other issues that come up once you get through the door.

There you are; a simple tip that will improve or enhance the likelihood of your being selected for interview!

Look out for the next free tip tomorrow . . .

Useful Information for Armed Forces Leavers . . . .

professional cv writer
professional cv writer
Resume Writing Tips : Best CV Templates - YouTube
Twitter / @TheAdlerSchool/Colleges/Schools
What job-hunting military veterans need to know - Ask Annie ...
DHS | Tips for Writing a Federal Resume
Leaving The Military? CV Advice
Career Advice on Resumes/Curriculum Vitas
Self Description In Interviews
Guide to Writing Resumes CVs And Cover Letters
How to make a resume
How do I write in my military experience on a resume? - Yahoo! Answers

Military CV Writing Service – Free Tips Series, Day 3

7 Items You Should NEVER Include On Your CV (Military or Civvy) – Tip Series, Day 3 . . . .

Welcome back! This is day three of our seven day Tips Series on information you should ALWAYS leave off (or remove from) your CV.

The subject of today’s tip has created endless discussions on several Linked In groups, primarily because most people consider that the construction of a winning CV is largely a matter of opinion. We fundamentally disagree with this viewpoint. We write CV’s professionally on a daily basis, and therefore base our so-called “opinion” purely and simply on what is actually working (or not) in today’s marketplace.

So, on to today’s tip, which is . . . . . . NEVER include a photograph on your CV.

Again, as stated on day one of the Series, there will sometimes – in a very limited number of circumstances – be exceptions to the rule. Perhaps the word “never” is too exclusive, but for the purposes of this Tips Series I make no apology for it. Unless you are applying for a vacancy in an overseas territory such as, say, Germany (where the inclusion of a photograph is usually required), or for a position which includes a security-vetting process for which you need to produce photo ID, it is not usually necessary (unless of course the application demands it). The only real exception in the UK is when applying for a modelling post, theatrical or television role, when a photograph or portfolio MAY be required.

There are several issues with photographs, some of which are technical and some subjective.

Technical reasons for not including a photograph are mainly connected with duplication and distribution. A poorly-lit photograph, one that is slightly out of focus or “grainy” will inevitably become more and more indistinct as it is photocopied or scanned. Clearly (excuse the pun) this will not help your cause.

The subjective reasons are far more damaging. Photographs elicit varying responses from the viewer, most of which are entirely subconscious but nonetheless reduce the strength and impact of the CV. For example, the candidate’s hair may be considered too long or too short, the wrong colour, or the style considered inconsistent with the reviewer’s ingrained beliefs of the requirements for the position. The candidate may be wearing glasses, the style of which the reader doesn’t like. A tie (males) may not appeal, or a necklace (females, but . . . . ) be too large or an unpleasing design. For ladies, the neckline may be considered too low. The absence of the tie on a male photograph may not be acceptable.

Then there are the physical attributes of the candidate; too fat, too thin, facial hair, birthmarks or moles, eye colour, make up, plain, ugly or too attractive  the list goes on. And what if the photograph reminds the reader of a cheating partner or spouse, an old adversary or school bully, a teacher they didn’t like, or former employer they didn’t get on with. And more. All of these issues, and many more, can eliminate you from the process before it even begins. These things have absolutely no bearing on the capability or suitability of the candidate, and most readers/recruiters/selectors will say that they would never allow such subjectivity to colour their decision.

However . . . the problem is that these instant, split-second impressions hit the cortex before any objective criteria come into play; part of our animal instinct. Remember the old adage that it’s always too late to make a good first impressionn. All but the most discerning and/or aware professionals, who understand the way the subconscious works, would have the intellectual capacity to override it, but it is a rare individual indeed that is prepared to do so.

This is not a matter of opinion. It’s a Law, like the law of gravity. Whether you agree with gravity, or it’s not convenient for you, or you need a break from it, you will still hit the ground and probably die if you step off the 20th floor of a tower block. And it doesn’t matter how good or bad you are, or whether you have everything to live for. The Law is completely impartial . . . . and it operates 100% of the time.

Right or wrong, can you now see the reasons for not including a photograph?

Look out for the next free tip in tomorrows tweet! Enjoy the sunshine today, if you have it.

Useful Information for Armed Forces Leavers . . . .

royal engineers
royal engineers
Resume Writing Tips : Best CV Templates - YouTube
4 Apps and Sites to Take Your Resume from OK to Outstanding ...
Help writing a CV tips & advice for job seekers everywhere.mp4 ...
Yahoo! India Directory > Resume Services
Self Description In Interviews
How to Write a Perfect Resume Objective (Resume Format Part IV)
What are good skills to put on your CV when applying to the Army ...
Career & Job News Work Employment & Salary Trends - Wall ...
The traditional transcript and resume are dead - The Washington Post
National Army Museum