You Ask Us Why – Here Are Some Answers!

At mexec we often get asked a lot of questions like “Why I am not getting to interview for roles?”. Hopefully, this month’s list of helpful snippets may be of assistance. These are just some of the ‘Whys’ that Sue Forrest covers in the mexec jobstrategy ™ program.  

Reach out here to arrange a 15 minute free call with Sue to learn more.

Should I include all the roles I have had in my career in my CV? Why? 

It is definitely important to make sure all gaps are covered and explained – Honesty is the best policy.  

Having a summary table on the first page brings all your roles to the front, then you don’t have to elaborate on all of them. 

Some of the roles that are relevant to the position you are applying for should be articulated in more detail.

Why do recruiters seem to ask dumb or basic questions? 

If I ask what you think is a “dumb” question, it most definitely is not. It’s about getting you to explain the basics to me. If you don’t know the basics, then do you really know more? I have unfortunately caught out a few candidates over the years that said they could do a particular thing but could not actually explain it accurately.

Should I have my PhD on the CV? Why?  

I believe yes.  

This is debated sometimes for roles that don’t necessarily require a PhD. Explaining it as a job is the most important thing to highlight your capabilities and learned soft skills.  For example; use of soft skills such as collaboration and communication should be in your achievement section. 

Why do I keep getting rejected for roles I apply to? 

Do you have the actual skills?  

We get many applicants that just press send and have not looked at the role in detail.  

If you keep being rejected, really ask yourself: 

  • Are you applying for the right roles?   
  • Is it a really competitive and sought after role and are there likely to be better aligned or more experienced candidate/s currently in the market.  
  • Have you read the PD and aligned your CV to the PD?   
  • Have you got good, relevant content and a well formatted CV that has been spell checked? First impressions count.   

Why don’t we like 2 columns CVs? 

The Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS) can’t read them as well.  

Reading naturally is from left to right so it’s hard when the continuity of the content is interrupted with different information in another column. It is difficult to know where to look to get critical information about a candidate. 

These 2-column CVs look crammed with content that would be clearer if written in one continuous flow across the page.  

Often this 2-column style is adopted when candidates believe they have to get all their information into 2 pages. Unless told otherwise by the hiring entity, CVs can be 3-5 pages long, so feel free to spread it out and present it well.

Why not list soft skills such as team player? 

We want examples in your achievements of where you have been a team player not just a list of soft skills. Your opinion is fine, but if every other candidate also puts this soft skill in their competencies list without giving examples, then you don’t stand out.

Why is a job ad short sometimes and does not give all the information? 

This is so you don’t just copy and paste the points into your cover letter or CV. 

You have to think about what you put in the CV and if you know the work area you will be able to fill in the gaps. If you don’t know the work area, you won’t, and so therefore it’s most likely you are not right for the role.    

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