The single most important tip for a good CV

Coffee, water and a notepad

Don't be boring

Recently someone told me they'd started a two-year course in law. 

"Great", I said, "now you have two years to work on your CV". 

My logic is this: in two years time, the person will have  job interview somewhere. She, as all the other applicants, will have good grades, internships, good schooling, and all manner of qualifications for the job. 

But what the person interviewing will be thinking is this: "Give me a reason to hire you and not the others". 

So give them a reason. You'll be solving a problem for them and they'll be grateful. 

If you're the only one of the applicants who also trains a handball team, or runs a model railway club, or teaches English to refugees, or speaks Greek and Portuguese, or restores vintage cars, you'll be giving them a reason to think about you. And the more they think about you, the more interesting you are. 

It's not about the handball or the trains, it's about you taking the initiative, doing something you didn't have to do, communicating with other people, and learning how to build things, solve things, share things. 

Not one of the pointless advice books on CVs or courses the job centre send you on will tell you this. They'll concentrate on formatting and how to use positive words and how to frame your application to the company in question. 

There's a much easier way to do it. 

Be interesting. 


Some people have said to me "Ah, but what if the people are shy or aren't that kind of person". Fair enough, but they won't get picked. Sorry, but the go-to-school, learn-the-subject, get-a-job days are over.