CV not getting you the procurement (or other) position you want?

In today’s volatile employment market can you really afford to be one of the many candidates with a CV that elicits no response at all? There can be a multitude of reasons for this, but from years of experience in Procurement specific recruitment Deborah van Laar of PSA Group: Search & Selection, tells SmartProcurement that it’s more than likely that your CV is to blame.

If your CV seems to be binned before you have received your ‘read’ receipt these may be the reasons why:

It’s too long
Someone will have to read your CV. They will probably be an HR consultant with many similar CVs to read through. If your CV is reads like a version of “War and Peace” they won’t bother.

“I regularly see CVs that are 12 pages long, if not more. Those in the know recommend no more than four pages and in Europe a standard CV keeps to two pages,” says Van Laar.

It doesn’t have the right look
Your CV needs to look neat and professional. It does not need to be pink and frilly.

“It is not the format, but the content that helps you win the interviews, make an impression and win the trust, confidence and attention of decision makers,” she says.

It’s bulked up with random information
You may have achieved a distinction in Home Economics 20 years ago, or been a head prefect in senior primary, but your CV need not reflect this. If you have been in the industry more than five years, you do not need to mention your Matric results, nor do you need to mention your time as a waitress in the local Spur.

It has the wrong contact details
It is unbelievable how often we have seen CVs with no contact details at all. Another CV no-no is a rude or inappropriate email address. Neither will get you a job.

It’s full of clichéd waffle
Are you a “highly motivated team player with a passion for Procurement”? Or have you “run the RFP process for nuts and bolts and taken on additional responsibilities that developed your leadership potential”? Don’t waste the page space saying so on your CV.

“You need to mention some of the definitive skills that you have instead of using a bunch of buzzwords,” explains van Laar.

It talks about responsibilities rather than achievementsWhat have you actually achieved while you’ve been working? What were the measurable outcomes?

Candidates tend to insert a copy of their job description (what they were supposed to do), instead of the things they did that actually made a difference to the previous employer.

You do not have the right experience
This is probably the real reason why your CV ends up in the ‘Deleted items’ folder.

If your CV does not match the experience required, there is not much you can do about it. However, a good covering letter may be one way around this. For example, you could use this platform to explain why you are looking to move from marketing to Procurement, emphasising that you’re studying towards your CIPS and that you’re absolutely committed to building a new career in Strategic Procurement.

With all of the above in mind, coupled with PSA’s intimate knowledge of the Procurement environment, PSA consultants are well placed to recognise and compile common sense CVs that win the attention of a prospective employer, even if the employer is skimming through CVs. PSA’s years of experience enable it to know what recruiters look for in a CV.

To learn more about the best way to present yourself to prospective employers contact Debbie van Laar

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