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CV's vs Resumes's ?

Discussion in 'Training & Development' started by dmarsh, Apr 21, 2008.

  1. dmarsh

    dmarsh Terabyte Poster

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    I just got one of those 'free CV reviews', now this might be a load of sales hogwash, but one point they made was that in the US they have resumes and the format is quite different ? I was wondering how deep if at all the cultural differences go ?

    Points made included :-

    (Last time I checked CV was latin and Resume was french, go figure...:wink:)

    For some reason for me putting my education further down the CV seems an 'unnatural order', anyone else think this ?

    Is the US really that letigous ?

    I guess I should lose this, Its a hangover from my first CV that had it as padding and a 'talking point'.

    Seems a fair point.

    The hyperlink was a 'design feature' for lazy recruiters ! :biggrin

    Well I guess I kinda do see myself as just 'above average', in a world with millions of people I really don't see myself as that special, ego is a weakness...

    So I was curious to see what others might think, and advise ?

    thanks very much in advance for all replies ! :D
     
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  2. Fergal1982

    Fergal1982 Petabyte Poster

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    Can we have a look at your CV that they reviewed?

    To be honest, I reckon they are speaking a load of pish. When we review CV's here, we have people on both sides of the pond saying very similar things. I dont really think CV's and resumes are actually any different.

    On the specific points:

    I always list education after employment. Employment is what the employer is more interested in than what grades I got at school.

    I would remove 'references available on request'. I agree that its unnecessary. Employers know that they can get references from you. Its usually a requirement of the job anyway.

    I dont include hobbies. Its not relevant to my capability in the job, and if they want to know, they can invite me to an interview and ask me.

    I doubt that US employers just reject out of hand any CV that intimates religion, etc. Doing so may well lead to them rejecting the perfect candidate, and I would consider that in itself grounds for discrimination personally. Im sure courts would tend to agree that you are discriminating based on religion/creed/etc by doing so. That said, I dont include that sort of information in my CV. Not because of the reason they gave, simply because it has no relevance to my capability to do the job.
     
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  3. dmarsh

    dmarsh Terabyte Poster

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    Well I'd like to get some general feedback first and didn't want to join the 'read my CV club', but if I get more requests I'll consider posting an anoymized version of it ! :D
     
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  4. Phoenix
    Honorary Member

    Phoenix 53656e696f7220 4d6f64

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    My understanding was also that the two are very different
    a Resume is often a short sales pitch type document, with your best traits put across
    a CV is an entire career history in detail

    I can understand SOME of what the guy has said, although if your applying for jobs in the UK it's a completely pointless exercise as people want a CV more often than not

    I do put education under vocational skills and the experience blurb ;)

    Is the US that litigious? I'd say it is, that said senior level resumes are not often piled up in such quantities to warrant the skim and bin approach to low level roles where you may have hundreds of thousands of people applying
    senior folks are not the sort that grow on trees, so your resume/cv is likely to warrant a bit of extra reading anyway, not a single passing glance
     
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  5. BosonMichael
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    BosonMichael Yottabyte Poster

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    Most of the CVs I've seen strike me as being FAR too long. But I'm used to the shorter resume format. I wouldn't dream of having a resume longer than two pages.

    The order of your sections (experience, education, etc.) should reflect whatever you want to highlight. For example, if you have no IT experience, you shouldn't start out by listing your work experience at McDonalds - you should list your education and certifications first. If you are an experienced IT professional, you should start your resume with your skills and your work history, and list your educations and certifications afterwards.

    Yes, the US is that litigious. That said... why even list any of that information on a resume or CV? It doesn't matter whether I'm a man or a woman, old or young, gay or straight, married or single, with children or without, Christian or atheist - because NONE of that relates to whether I can do the job.

    Similarly, I don't include hobbies, because my hobbies don't relate to whether I can do the job. I won't be any better or any worse of a tech because I am a Nashville Predators fan, because I sing in the church choir, or because I enjoy scuba diving.

    I agree with Fergal - if the employer wants references, they will ask for them.

    If I had any advice to add, it would be this:

    - Craft your resume/CV to target the position. My "network administrator" resume is different from my "technical writer" resume because I focus on different skills and strengths.
    - Always take the time to craft a cover letter that is directed specifically towards the position you are applying for. This should be the place to be conversational... not in the resume/CV.
     
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  6. disarm

    disarm Byte Poster

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    Points made included :-

    Quote:
    “
    Next, don't lead the resume with your education. Your education is not going to be your best selling point. For someone at your level of career, employers will be more interested in your experience. In the real world where the rubber hits the road, it's not where you went to school but what you've done with the learning since then.
    ”
    I think this is true, experience is better.

    Quote:
    “
    Additionally, employers are very wary of anything on a resume that might later result in a lawsuit for hiring discrimination. It's safer for them to just reject the resume at the start if it intimates anything that reveals religions, gender, date of birth, marital status, children, etc. The benefit to your candidacy from this information is minimal, too, so it's better to play it safe and take this out of the resume.
    ”
    Employers can and do discriminate upon age, marital status, children etc. It's also irrelevant info and you need to make every word count.

    Quote:
    “
    Generally speaking, it’s best to keep personal interests, hobbies, etc. off your resume. This information adds nothing to your value as the best candidate to do the job. Employers aren’t interested in your hobbies – they just want to know if you can bring value to their organization.
    ”
    It's important to list some hobbies that may be a little bit different/interesting (dogging excepted) as it shows that you're more of a rounded person and not a 100% IT Nerd. It can also act as a nice little off-topic talking point during the interview - a breather from the HR questions. Just briefly mention them without going in to detail. I would avoid things like socialising with friends, going on holiday etc, as everyone does that stuff.

    Quote:
    “
    Finally, the "references available upon request" tag line is OLD, OLD, OLD!!! It's like saying "the end" at the end of a movie. It just isn't done anymore, ESPECIALLY for upper level resumes!
    ”
    I don't think there is anything wrong with this and it only takes up one line on your CV. You don't want to include full reference details as the referees will be constantly harassed by time wasters.

    Quote:
    “
    For example, the blue font for your e-mail address is distracting.
    ”
    Yes, remove the hyperlink.

    Quote:
    “
    You need to remember the purpose of a resume -- to take an AGGRESSIVE approach in selling you to a potential employer. Why does that employer want to interview YOU? You need to be MUCH more active in pulling out your forte -- things that will show potential employers what they get for their investment (your compensation). What can you bring to the table that your competition cannot? What sets you apart?
    ”
    Quote:
    “
    A good summary focuses on what makes YOU stand out, your dynamic record of achievement, your skills set - value you bring to the table - what makes you UNIQUE.

    Your CV is, and has to be a sales brochure. If all you're doing is listing your job responsibilities, it will mostly go unnoticed.

    Once I realised this and changed my CV style, I started receiving almost a call a day from recruitment consultants (after posting on monster, jobsite, etc), and it has helped me to get interviews that I just wasn't getting before.
     
  7. dmarsh

    dmarsh Terabyte Poster

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    thanks for feedback ! :D
     
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  8. ITMatt

    ITMatt Bit Poster

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    Impressive CV - it's not everyday you see a properly laid out CV with details on what you "actually" did in the role.

    Only suggestion I could make, which is really just a mute point, is that you try fit it on two pages :biggrin
     
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  9. nugget
    Honorary Member

    nugget Junior toady

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    You're right, it has nothing to do with 'the job'.

    It does however have everything to do with a person, and they are looking for a person to do the job.

    When we were looking to hire someone last year we had an applicant who listed his interests as astronomy and learning russian. This piqued my interest and we invited him for an interview and he was later offered the job.

    Maybe this sort of thinking (cold, hard, businesslike etc) is normal in the states and is actively fostered but I think in most of the rest of the world it's the other way around.
     
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  10. Fergal1982

    Fergal1982 Petabyte Poster

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    Personally I agree with BM. What I do in the time the company isnt paying me - what church i attend, who shares my money, how i spend my time, etc - is of no concern to my employer. If im in the interview, and they want to know what kind of things im into, i'll happily tell them, but it has no bearing on my ability to do a job, so I dont include it.

    I dont agree that employers are looking for a 'person', as you put it, to do the job. They want someone who will turn up punctually, do the job, and do it well. They really arent interested in what you choose to do outside of the time they are handing cash over to you. Unless it will have an impact on you doing the job, or presents a conflict of interest. If they could get a robot in that would do all the work they want the successful candidate to do, they would get one in a flash. They dont want a 'person' they want an automaton.

    In all honesty, what does it really matter if i were to go home and spend all my free time drawing circles in a pad of paper, whilst eating skips. So long as im presentable during the working day, and can do the job at least within acceptable parameters. If im good at what I do, then I can spend my hard earned cash in any damn way I please, and its of no concern to my employer.
     
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  11. BosonMichael
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    BosonMichael Yottabyte Poster

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    You're not hiring a person for all of that other stuff, though.

    Don't kid yourself; even in the UK, employers want one thing: someone who can do the job. Sure, they have to be pleasant. Sure, they have to be intelligent. But I could care less if they like hockey, even though I'm a hockey fan.

    Further, adding those interests can actually HURT your chances as much as help them. If I list that I'm a Christian, I risk alienating employers who don't want a "Jesus Freak" running around the office. If I list that I have a bunch of kids, I risk scaring off employers who might think I will need a bunch of personal time off at a moment's notice. If I list that I am a Predators season ticket holder, an employer will know that I'll likely be unavailable for 42+ evenings a year, should I need to be on call or work late. If I list that I like watching wrestling, employers might scoff that I would even consider such a thing as entertainment. Thus, you cannot assume that listing your personal info is a good thing... far too often, it is not.
     
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  12. Sparky
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    Sparky Zettabyte Poster Moderator

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    Actually this depends on the job. Taking an IT support job as an example if you are the in-house support at a company then you would be expected to fix problems as quickly as possible and to a high standard.

    However if you are sub contracted you would be expected to be more approachable and generally an ‘alright guy’. When the contract is up for renewal you could be offering the best IT support in the country but if they think you are a bit ‘weird’ and a bit of a geek then that can make the difference.

    I don’t agree with it but a couple of the contracts I have picked up have been because the customer just didn’t like the people they were dealing with, nothing to with the quality of the support.

    This is why I want to go back to being the in-house IT support guy so I can be as rude as I want to users and not have to worry about losing contracts. :twisted:
     
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  13. OceanPacific

    OceanPacific Byte Poster

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    Okay, this is an issue that really "grinds my gears."

    I dont think that my religion, maritial status, or what I like to do on the weekends is ANYONES business except my own. The US is very ass-backwards when it comes to this too. Why ask for your race if your an equal opportunity employer??? Why ask for the information at all if it dosent make a difference in the way you hire? It obviously does.

    Two years ago I did a social experiment, you could say, on this. I was out of school, newly moved, and unemployed. I probobly put in 50+ resumes and never got a call back on any of them. Now, as for myself and race is concerned, im pretty much heinz 57 (means im very mixed) but if i had to narrow it down im probobly majorly norwegian, but I also descend from the cherokee native americans, though my last name is norwegian. I have black hair and im white complected, so it could go either way. Well, I finally got tired of marking my race on the applications, but they dont let you opt out, so I started marking native american (which I am completely in my rights to as one.) The first time I did this, I got a call, and I got a job with none other than Wal-Mart.

    You tell me this was a coincidence. :dry
     
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  14. BosonMichael
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    So how does a "hobbies" or "personal interests" section make you an "alright guy"? This is what the interview is for... to determine if you are pleasant enough to work with. I could care less about your interests.

    No... but then you have to worry about being fired. Being rude to your users is a sure-fire way to short-circuit your IT career, regardless of whether you're in-house or contracted.
     
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  15. BosonMichael
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    BosonMichael Yottabyte Poster

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    Umm... most employers in the US DON'T ask for that information. :blink Why? That's a lawsuit just waiting to happen. Employers won't touch it.
     
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  16. OceanPacific

    OceanPacific Byte Poster

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    Well you must have never filled out an application with a company, or at least in a long time, as nearly every company ive ever applied with asked for my race.
     
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  17. BosonMichael
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    IT folks don't generally fill out applications unless you're applying at a large company. Most everywhere I've worked, I send my resume, I get an interview, I get hired.

    If filling out the "race" portion of an application bothers you... simply don't answer the question. It's not relevant to whether you can do the job. If it makes a difference to that employer... if they won't hire you because you won't fill out that info... perhaps you're better off not working for that employer, eh?
     
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  18. Sparky
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    Sparky Zettabyte Poster Moderator

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    I didn’t reference a part of a CV, I just said that employers sometimes require a ‘person’ to do a job if they are to be customer facing most of the time. 8)


    I wouldn’t be rude but if I get someone screaming down the phone because they cant get on youtube then I can just say its against IT policy rather than have the one hour “why cant I access youtube” conversion. :biggrin
     
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  19. OceanPacific

    OceanPacific Byte Poster

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    Well this was before my first IT job, im pretty new to the industry. And its not the filling it out that bothers me, its the employers motive for asking it in the first place. Am I making sense?
     
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  20. dmarsh

    dmarsh Terabyte Poster

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