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Writing your CV

Don't clap too soon

Writing your CV can be a tedious at times.  So, when you’ve finished the task it’s hard to resist a self-congratulator round of applause.

This is completely understandable.

However it’s always worth taking a second look at your use of language. In particular, ask yourself “is my language passive or active?” Recruiters like to read CVs that are active and positive in their use of language. CVs that are couched in language that is passive and uninspiring tend to end up in the reject pile.

A passive CV  is a chronological list of roles and responsibilities. An active CV  tells an authentic story that inspires curiosity and shows evidence of  solid achievement in areas of interest to the reader

Here’s an example of active language:  “increased employee retention by 10%  through implementing comprehensive induction programme for all new employees” Both “increased” and “implementing” are positive verbs and “10%” is a specific measure of achievement.

Example of passive language  “My role  included responsibility  for employee retention from 2010 to 2016” “Role” and “responsibility”  both sound passive and don’t give any real sense of activity, urgency, or  achievement.

Your CV, must, of course, list your skills and experience. But you need also to persuade the recruiter, through clever use of language, that you are worth calling for interview. The way to do that is to use active  language that tells a story of solid and relevant achievement in your career to date.









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