Dumbing Down A CV

back-to-basicsIt’s not often anyone would find it necessary to trade down their experience, skills and qualifications to go for a role they are over qualified for, but it’s happening more and more.

The most obvious reason is that in this economic climate the job market is saturated with thousands of applicants who NEED a job! They might have been made redundant, had benefits cut, are out of work and / or need extra income. If you fall in to this category, then dumbing down your CV might be an option you are considering.

We also find many women returning to work after having a family need to trade down a little, it’s now a priority to find a role that fits in around your children and gives you a better work/life balance. Women in this situation may be returning to work after having a high flying career that is no longer appropriate to go back to or desired.
Whatever your reason, if you find yourself reading this, we can give you some appropriate tips to dilute your achievements without compromising your experience too much.

  • The basic format should remain the same; profile, areas of expertise, career summary and education/professional development. The areas of expertise will be where you can focus the potential employer on to skills you have that directly match what they are advertising for. Helping them to zone in on this area rather than reading senior job titles first.
  • Consider the words you use, it should still be impeccable grammar and spelling but it’s not necessary to get the thesaurus out to impress.
  • Always try to tailor your cover letter and CV directly to the role you require. If you are looking in to a heavy admin focused or finance related role, then placing significant emphasis on your organisational ability, numerical prowess and accuracy would be an advantage.
  • Explain in your cover letter why you want the position. Even if you have secured previous roles at a much more senior level, perhaps now you are looking to develop your skills in a more specialised/niche area of the business.
  • Remain true to your achievements but pick areas of highlight based on your new role requirements.
  • Its ok to omit certain details, if you believe they will frighten off your potential employers; it’s never ok to outright lie though.
  • Consider also, having the CV that truly reflects your capabilities, in case that all important, amazing opportunity of a lifetime shows up again.

With 20+ years of experience writing CVs, it still puts a smile on my face when I hear a client has secured an interview Lee Tonge - Founder and Director


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