Module 7 – Don’t f*ck it up! Play by their rules

The rules are there to ensure that it is fair to everyone who applies for a particular job.

Ensure the length of your CV is appropriate and that you follow any instructions they provide.

Too short and you’re not giving me what I need to make a decision. Too long and you’re making me hunt for the information I need. 

Both of these are frustrating, and when you have 500 CVs to look through it can easily make me give up.

Unless this is your first ever job then 1 page is too short. Aiming for 2-3 pages is perfect.

A CV with 4 pages in it is getting a little long. 5 or more pages are just mostly waffle and leaving me to search for what I want.

I’m sorry but I really don’t care about what you did 10 years ago. I’m a radically different person from who I was 10 years ago and I am sure the same is true for you!

As well as your CV length, did the job advert mention about a cover letter or a portfolio. Did it mention that you needed to send it to a certain email address with a specific subject name? If there is this request, you should be following the exact instructions provided or your CV won’t be put forward.

Action points

  • Check if your CV is the appropriate length.
  • Start off with half a page to tell me about yourself and then half a page for your education and community involvement. 
  • Your most recent role should have the most detail, at least one or two paragraphs and a summary of the technologies and skills you used or learned. Each role after that should have less and less information.
  • If the job description mentions that you need a cover letter or portfolio or it needs to be sent to a particular email address with a subject line – then make sure you follow the exact instructions. This might be a test on if you can follow instructions, or if you care enough to read carefully. See the brown m&m test.