What you include on a CV seems to be a bit of a mystery to a lot of people; they either include every personal detail about themselves or so little information you’d think they were part of the witness projection program.

The truth is a good resume lies somewhere in between, but it’s not always easy to know where to draw the line. Try this little true-or-false resume quiz to see if your CV skills are respectable and up-to-date.

True or False?Creativity

1.A CV is about your past jobs

2.The most important thing on a resume is your objective

3.Never list unpaid work or work gaps

4.Combine short term jobs into one line item

5.Go back only 10 to 15 years

6.Listing hobbies on your CV is a good idea

7.A decorative CV makes you stand out

 

Now let’s see how you did!

1. A CV is about your past jobs

False. Recruiters don’t really care what you did. They want to know how effective you were at doing it. Just saying you were the “HR Manager; duties included maintaining the employee handbook…” doesn’t tell us if you were good at your job or not. However, if you were to say, “HR Manager; Converted the employee handbook to an online, interactive document so that employees always had access to the latest information…” well, now we’re learning more about what you’re capable of.

3. The one of the most important things on your CV is your objective

True. An objective shows your interviewer that you have a sense of direction. It indicates you’ve put some thought into your future and that you have career goals and ambition. Employers like to hire people who know what they want out of a job, because these are the people who come up with the big, creative ideas to get there.

4. Never list unpaid work or work gaps

False. List it all; volunteer work, internships, and unpaid work. Many employers appreciate volunteer achievements, especially if they relate to the company's industry or to the job functions. If you have a work gap, the employer will want to know what you were doing during this time.

5. Combine short term jobs into one line item

True. Individually listing every little, short-term job you ever had clutters up your CV. For example, if you were a self-employed graphic designer for three years, and in that time you had 10 clients, then just say, “2001-2004: Graphic Designer (self-employed). Client list and references available upon request.” But then have that list and those references on hand in case your interviewer asks for them.

6. Go back only 10 to 15 years

True. If you left school 30 years ago, it’s really not necessary to list every single job you’ve ever had. It’s likely that the first job you had since leaving school probably isn’t relevant to the current position you’re applying to 30 years into your career. Plus, going back only 15 years allows you to be vague about your age, which legally an interviewer can’t ask you about, anyway. Just list your history as Recent Work Experience.

7. Listing hobbies on your resume is a good idea

True and False (trick question). If you have a hobby that’s pertinent to the job you’re applying for, then yes, include it. For example, if you’re applying as an art director, and you dabble in photography, then that might help get you hired. However, we don’t care if you’re into scrapbooking, Moroccan cooking, or origami napkin folding.

8. A decorative CV makes you stand out

False. It looks pretentious, and black ink on coloured paper can sometimes be hard to read. The employer is more interested in what’s actually on the CV. It’s best to stick to white paper, using a CV format appropriate to the job you’re applying for.

 

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