How not to write a CV PDF Print E-mail

One of my favourite copywriting jobs is drafting or editing CVs and personal profiles. It's always a pleasure to use my writing skills to showcase other people's experiences and abilities. And it's even better when my clients come back to me with the good news that they've secured their dream job or a valuable tender for their business.

But CV-writing can be a tricky business. The examples below show just how wrong it can go when over-eager jobseekers are left to their own devices.

When CV-writing goes wrong (researched online)

•    Please explain any breaks in your employment career: 15 minute coffee break while working at a home improvement store.
•    It's best for employers that I not work with people.
•    Here are my qualifications for you to overlook.
•    If this resume doesn't blow your hat off, then please return it in the enclosed envelope.
•    My fortune cookie said, "Your next interview will result in a job." And I like your company in particular.
•    Reason for leaving last job: The owner gave new meaning to the word paranoia. I prefer to elaborate privately.
•    Previous experience: Self-employed - a fiasco.
•    I am a rabid typist.
•    Excellent memory; strong math aptitude; excellent memory; effective management skills; and very good at math.
•    Personal Goal: To hand-build a classic cottage from the ground up using my father-in-law.
•    Personal achievements: Successfully played "Chop Sticks" on a toy piano with my big toes.

Don't look a prat on your CV

Ask me to write it for you. The same goes for your personal or business profile. These documents are important and they need to be clear, well-written and completely unambiguous in meaning. This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it if you'd like to discuss further, or ask to see my CV-writing portfolio.

Added: May 2012 by Faye Stenson