Expert CV Writing Advice for the Military. 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. Take this as very relevant and potent CV Writing Advice for anyone – military or civilian.
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? Take heed – this is expert CV Writing Advice…
Hope you’ve found the Tip Series useful so far; look out for more free advice tomorrow.