CV Clinic – your questions answered
This week in our CV Clinic, Lee Tonge – owner of The CV Store – answers your questions on hobbies and CVs.
‘In the ‘Profile‘ section of CV, is it appropriate to highlight a personal non-professional trait such as writing poetry?
‘Personally when I had screened some CV’s for a project, and I recalled the ones which had these types of traits included as opposed to once which had the usual heavily used words such as team-player etc’.
Hello, and thanks for your question.
A few years ago, “no”, would have been the short answer to your question.
However, recruiters are increasingly looking to interests and activities to find evidence of a candidate’s personality. A creative list of non-professional traits can often compensate for a lack of, or gaps in experience and qualifications.
The types of positions you’re applying to will play a key role in what (if any) non-professional traits you should mention. As an example, if applying for managerial roles, showcasing leadership skills as a sports team captain is a great idea.
In addition to non-professional traits, consider non-professional achievements! However, try and be unique. Achieving a Duke of Edinburgh award is great, but wouldn’t particularly stand out to a recruiter. Flying halfway around the world to climb a mountain in treacherous conditions will highlight your self-motivation and discipline more than any job-related activities ever could.
The key thing to remember is striking a balance between work-related experience, achievements and traits and personal ones – particularly if you’re including them within the CV’s profile. When the time comes, find the job / people specification for the role you’re applying to and tailor the profile to match what they’re looking for, be it creativity, determination, leadership or even a sense of humour!
When evaluating and listing your personal traits, remember that these define who you are to the reader, so avoid fabricating the truth just to impress a recruiter.