Expert Armed Forces CV Tips Series, Day 2…

7 Items You Should NEVER Include On Your Armed Forces CV – Tip Series, Day 2 . . . .

Hope you found yesterday’s information useful. It’s surprising how many people include such potentially damaging information. Remember, the sole purpose of your Armed Forces CV is to get you in front of a civilian decision-maker for interview!

Here’s the tip for Day 2:

You should NEVER include References or Referee information on the face of your Armed Forces CV.

I know this flies in the face of advice given by many well-meaning advisers, career coaches and others. But we know what works and what doesn’t work in today’s marketplace. It’s not theory or opinion. This information comes from existing clients who are actually “out there” using our CV’s to get interviews, and also from agency contacts and HR professionals who personally carry out the hiring process on a daily basis. In addition, we have been doing this for more than 18 years, so we have a good feel for the process and its idiosyncracies. We know what works . . . and what doesn’t.

Apart from wasting valuable real-estate that could and should be selling you (HARD), it gives away too much information that could again result in you not getting through the door.

Think about it. If you include referee details it gives a potential hirer the opportunity to screen you even before their shortlist has been created, which rather defeats the object! Of course, we all know that a certain amount of screening can be carried out by looking up e-mail addresses, Facebook profiles and company history/previous employer information. However, it makes absolutely no sense to provide the hirer/screener/potential employer with information that can be used against you or make it easy for them to filter you out.

Look at yesterday’s tip again  is there a pattern starting to emerge here?

If you include referee information, there are potentially even more (highly-subjective) reasons for rejection which may result. What if, for example, one or more of the referees is known to the reviewer, and their relationship had been less than rewarding? Perhaps the referee had been his or her previous employer or boss, and they had dismissed them or maybe blocked a promotion. They might see rejecting you as an opportunity to get back at them.

What if a referee was known to the hirer socially, or had been a bully at school, or any number of other personal connections? As stated yesterday, the sole purpose of your CV is to get you in front of a decision maker for interview. Why make it easy for the reader to disqualify you?

There is really no need to include anything related to references or referees within your CV. Once you have packed every available inch of CV real estate with highly-relevant, positive, achievement-focused information about you and what you can do for the company, if you have a line or two available at the end of your second or final page, there is no harm in including the phrase “References available upon request.” But don’t sacrifice relevant detail just to include it. It’s assumed you will have references anyway.

Some of these examples may seem like a bit of a ‘stretch’, but the point is that you have no control over what may result from including information that is really not required, so why supply it? Here’s a bonus tip for you – the key to the whole process is for YOU to be in control . . . of content, timing, personal appearance, your CV, cover letter, follow up letters, employer research, your Facebook and LinkedIn profiles – EVERYTHING.

Tip 3 for writing an Armed Forces CV (or any CV) is here

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