Please just STOP IT!! For your own sake!!

As a Careers Coach and Recruiter, day-in day-out I obviously read a tonne of CV’s, and I also write them for my individual Career and Outplacement clients. I am least surprised then when I receive countless emails from candidates expressing their frustration in applying for what seems to be hundreds of roles (and often is) with little or no response. The problem they should’ve been thinking is why your CV isn’t being read and what you can do about it.

Just this week a very old friend of mine, someone who knows his stuff and has been in the mechanical maintenance area of our industry for ‘forever’ was made redundant. He touched base, and I mentioned that at present THE resources HUB doesn’t have anything available that suits his skills set, qualifications and experience, but for him to send me through his CV and that way he is in the database ready for when we do.

I went to review ‘said doc’ to ensure I understood what his capabilities were since we were last working in the same town (many years ago), and although he had the most intriguing cover page complete with fabulous photos of his gorgeous family, his work-life and his toys, and then continued on pages 2, 3 and 4 listing his work history, qualifications, etc. I immediately picked up the phone to discuss the outlay of his CV. I wanted to tell him why your CV isn’t being read and what you can do about it.

The reason being is many Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS’s) or Recruitment Databases in which your details/CV/Qualifications etc is stored WILL NOT parse information from a document that contains pictures, borders or words in tables – everything becomes somewhat scrambled. To give you an example, there have been times that I have been searching for a particular candidate for a role, and their Referees appear in their place!

My good friend was a tad gutted by my questioning his many hours of creativity and artistry to ensure he was seen ‘ahead of the pack’; however, in showcasing his talents in this way, he wouldn’t have been seen at all!!

So for those of you who are continuously feeling the brunt of ‘application burnout,’ my suggestions are these –

  • KISS – KEEP IT SIMPLE ‘SILLY’ – Clearly communicate your experiences and objectives across all your documentation including your Cover Letter/s and LinkedIn Profile, and remember that if you are applying across different industries or disciplines, ensure you write your CV aimed at that target market
  • Don’t have pictures (save those for LinkedIn), borders or information contained in tables and save your qualifications/certifications/licences in a separate document – you are limiting your chances of being ‘read’ within our robotic ATS in the first place
  • Find and align keywords of the job advertisement in your Career Overview and Objective and relate that info to your experience within your CV
  • List relevant experience and limit your prior work history that doesn’t relate to the role/industry/discipline on offer
  • Omit your Interests/Hobbies – unless they are relative once again to the role/industry/discipline we don’t need to know about it!
  • Focus on your strengths and achievements and summarise your capabilities as a separate heading under each position
  • Ensure your detailed info is contained within maximum four pages – please don’t waffle!

Remember in today’s world your CV forms only a small part of your Career documentation and that your online presence is just as important when seeking (and being found for) employment opportunities. Most Recruiters and Hiring Managers will check out your Profile, and other Social Media platforms to suss out a little more about you! And those of us who use LinkedIn for recruitment will be in touch if you present your capabilities well.

If you don’t have a LinkedIn Profile, (I know some of you are reading this on LinkedIn) YOU NEED TO BE ON THERE! It is free to join (I have even created a ‘Cheat Sheet’ that I am happy to share to get you started) so just get in touch.

And please, enough with the pictures, borders and pretty awful Clip Art that apparently ‘depicts’ what you do – it isn’t all that impressive!


Dani Tamati – (MRCSA) (CDAA – member) – dip HR │dip OHS is a Resource Industry Recruitment Specialist, Careers Practitioner, HR Advisor, Diversity Advocate, Mentor, Principal, FIFO Wife and a Mum of 4

Dani established “THE resources HUB” (THErh) in 2012 as a careers, talent, recruitment and managed services company dedicated to the resources industries including civil, construction, mining and oil and gas; herself having 22 years experience in living, working, recruiting and career coaching in the sector. THE resources HUB can be found on Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram and Twitter and our website or phone us on 08 9295 5722 or 0499 841 722

Dani Tamati: About Dani Tamati
MiningLink: The Resources Hub! Who we are and what we do?
Jobs and Services: The Resources Hub Recruitment and HR Capabilities
Government of Western Australia North Metropolitan TAFE: Get into Resources

Have you been thinking why your CV isn’t being read and what you can do about it? Contact us now!