Cut the Fluff!
As anyone who’s been in the job market for longer than 5 years or so will more than likely know, the CV landscape has changed dramatically in just that short space of time, probably propelled (as discussed in our last post, “21st Century Job hunting”) by the explosion of the internet and the coming-of-age of the tech-savvy ‘Millennials’ with all their native soft skills.
So until only the last few years the guidance was (and according to some advisers still is – it’s only an opinion after all!) to ‘beef up’ your CV with mature - albeit penetrable - job-spec phraseology, peppered with buzz words. More recently however, as we’ve become more focused on providing proof in a CV, such fluffy, albeit sophisticated-sounding, self-assessing is out.
Indeed, an astute question was posed by a careers and professional development guru on a LinkedIn Unemployment group recently regarding thoughts on the value/requirement for self-assessing adjectives in CVs these days, i.e. a key ingredient of ‘fluff’. In our humble opinion (and we reiterate, it is only an opinion where CVs are concerned!) if you’ve got the room and aren’t risking your white space, or worse, something more pertinent to your capacity to actually carry out the role you’re applying for, then by all means why not describe yourself as 'dynamic', 'reliable', 'analytical' or whatever you choose.
But wherever possible it’s inarguably wise to support such statements, lofty or otherwise, with real examples. By all means, convey your problem-solving/team-building/project management skills in grandiose terms but in these days of copy-and-paste and click-and-apply, it’s all the more important to back them up and build your credibility as a convincing candidate with solid evidence.
Now, we hasten to add, as with any CV ‘guidance’, so much is dependent on the history owner’s personal experience and the role/level/industry/organisation they’re applying to work in, so we’re not suggesting that one doesn’t use any kind of filling to pad out their application, particularly relevant if you’re a candidate without much occupational experience. Fluff can be good, ask any soft-toy maker, interior designer or soft furnishing manufacturer!
However, should you be a candidate with a lot of experience/skills to offer, then yes, by all means you can now cut the fluff and go straight to the evidence!