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CV or Resumes - What are they good for?

August 8, 2017

Well, first and foremost, if you are applying for a job, you are going to have to put your CV or resume together. Hang on, I hear you cry, what's the difference? Well in the UK and Europe, basically nothing. Both terms mean essentially the same thing. But in the US there is a big difference. CV's are used primarily for academic, teaching or medical jobs. They tend to be much more detailed, literally documenting the course of your life! Resumes on the other hand are what they literally mean. A summary. And these are used for practically every other job application.

 

So now we know the difference between them, where do we start? What should we be putting in it? How much information do people need? You have achieved so much and don't want the recruiters to miss out on anything! These are amongst the most common questions people have and as a recruiter and hiring manager for over 25 years, I have seen just about everything you can imagine on a cv/resume. 

 

Lets start with some common questions. 

 

1. "Do I put my photo on it?"

Unless you are looking for a starring role in the next Tom Cruise movie then I would say no. What recruiters and hiring managers are looking for is relevant information and pictures can often prove an unnecessary distraction. Again there are cultural differences and whilst it is quite unusual in the UK and US to accompany your cv/resume with a picture of yourself, in Europe it is common place. And I have seen some quite interesting ones in my time. My personal favourite was the one of a candidate holding a giant fish. Impressive I am sure but not sure what he was trying to convey in his job application! (This photo isn't actually the candidate! Just a representation...you get the idea!)