CV review time: is your CV too vague?

CV and laptop

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By Claire B.

If you have a vague, non-specific CV then it might be time for a quick CV review, as these are fast becoming the bane of employers and recruiters' working lives.

Normally these CVs can be spotted a mile off; all the right skills and achievements are included but none of them really go into any real detail. The CV contains few examples and there's a general sense of hollowness about the whole document. It's as though the CV is full of words, yet nothing is really being said.

Not the best way to impress a potential new employer.

A vague CV says to an employer that the applicant either has poor communication skills, has something to hide, or is just plain lazy. Perhaps all of the above.

Conduct your own CV review - and be honest

Obviously most jobseekers are not lying about their work history or too lazy to write a more detailed CV - they just can't remember what the details are anymore. If you simply can't remember all of the different roles you've fulfilled and skills you've honed then it's understandable really.

After holding a job for a number of years, if you're suddenly looking for a new position and it's time to update that old CV it can be tough. If you haven't updated it for a while it may well be difficult trying to recall all of your achievements and accomplishments. You know you were very busy in your previous roles and you know you were doing great work, it's just that you can't remember the exact details.

And as any recruiter will tell you, it's the details that matter.

So you rewrite your CV without fleshing it out with any detail and it reads like a vague list of imaginary skills. It shows no personality, no uniqueness and no detail.

So what can you do about a vague CV?

Well, particularly in the current employment market, a small proportion of clever folk are keeping one step ahead at all times by updating their CV every few months or so. They're conducting their own CV review. Just thirty minutes is all they need to review their recent projects, challenges and achievements and review and update their CVs accordingly.

There's no excuse - make time to do this and stick to it. You'll feel far more confident about your skills and your accomplishments, plus future employers won't be put off by a bland, vague and boring CV.


Claire Brown has been in recruitment for 10 years and works for The CV Site - a professional CV writing site. The CV Site reviews CVs for free and makes suggestions on both content and layout. To get a free 'The CV Site' review go to http://www.thecvsite.co.uk or call them on 0845 094 1950.

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