Expert Military CV Writing Tips, Day 7…

Welcome back folks here’s the last of our Military CV Writing tips on what you should NEVER include on your CV. Look out for the next series, which will be 10 things you should ALWAYS include. You could also get my book written especially for the Amazon Kindle (only about £3!), which includes almost everything you could possibly need to write an interview-winning CV! Remember, we’re talking about the CV here, NOT an application form or other application process. I mention this because, increasingly today, companies are conducting their recruitment process via an online form rather than the submission of a CV. Some pundits even suggest that the CV is dead as an interview-winning tool, but it will always have a place, particularly for applications to smaller companies and organisations.

Here is today’s tip, the last in this series:

Never, never, NEVER include details of your present salary, your salary history, or what your current expectations or requirements are.

Got that? It’s worth repeating:

Never, never, NEVER include details of your present salary, your salary history, or what your current expectations or requirements are.

We see perhaps 100 to 150 CV’s per week for either review or rewriting. Approximately 5% of these include such details. You may think that this gives focus to the CV, a “stick in the ground” for a future employer to work to, or to tell them what you will or will not accept. All of these will potentially consign your CV immediately to the circular file, completely disqualifying you from ANY chance of getting an interview. There are a whole raft of reasons for this, all of which, as soon as I mention them will be glaringly obvious.

Firstly, dealing with salary history, it has absolutely no bearing on the future. Conditions change, “going rates” for a particular skill or qualification alter – sometimes considerably, plus of course inflation plays a part, as does the length of time you have been in a particular role. If you’ve had a few different jobs or positions, these numbers, plotted on a chart (even mentally, which is what a reviewer will be doing) may paint a picture you wouldn’t be proud of.

Secondly, and this really covers all of the reasons for not including any salary information whatever, it puts a finite number on what you believe you’re worth.

Absolutely disastrous.

Your number could be wildly optimistic, in which case the potential employer will write you off as a dreamer. The number could be extremely pessimistic, in which case the potential employer will either think you incompetent, or – worse – push his or her luck and try to get you cheaply. Neither scenario is desirable.

Finally, you could be disqualifying yourself for the sake of, literally, a few pounds or so. For example, if the employer’s upper limit for the position is 35,000 and you have indicated that your salary target is 35,500 there is a good chance your CV will be discarded. This could be despite the fact that you may be prepared to accept as little as 32,000 in a negotiation process.

Conversely, you may indicate that you will accept 50,000, while the employer has in mind that he’s prepared to pay 60,000 for your particular expertise. This can work against you in two ways. The employer may decide before you even get the chance to get in front of him, that you must be deficient in some way, or may fall short of his expectations, simply because you appear to have undervalued your skills.

Alternatively, he may decide to interview you and potentially save himself 10,000. Now, you may consider this acceptable if it means you get to interview and may, therefore, get the job. However, you will be forever at a disadvantage in any future salary negotiation, and your reputation in the sector could be damaged for a long time to come.

In summary, you should never put anything on the face of the CV that could potentially disqualify you from interview (sound familiar?). As stated in earlier tips, this completely kills the whole point of the exercise, which is to get you in front of a decision-maker. Remember, it’s not the best candidate that gets the interview, it’s the candidate with the best CV!

Hope you’ve enjoyed this short series of Expert CV Writing Tips, and more importantly it’s helped you clean your CV up! Look out for our next series in a week or two that will help you get all the ESSENTIALS onto your CV. If you simply take my CV Writing Advice and do this, you will be well ahead of at least 85% of your competition!

For more Expert CV Writing Tips and Interview Advice, have a look at my books on Amazon. You can also view them here on the site.

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Expert CV Writing Advice for the Military. Tip 6…

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