4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
The only book I recommend on CV writing,
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This review is from: Brilliant CV: What Employers Want to See and How to Write it (Brilliant Business) (Paperback)
Sadly, the Perfect CV doesn't exist.
If you talk to 100 different people, you will get 100 different opinions. I have worked as a headhunter for 15 years. I have seen literally thousands of CVs. And I have read at least 10 books on how to write a CV. Even so, I can guarantee that if I were to write your CV in what I believe to be the most effective format, you could probably find several people who told you they thought it was rubbish and needed complete re-writing (hence no doubt some of the poor reviews of this book).
The obsession that job hunters have with crafting the perfect CV stems, I think, from the hope that they can make a 'magic bullet' which, on its own, will be sufficient to open doors, win interviews and bag a job. Unfortunately there has been plenty of research conducted to show that CV submissions alone lead to a job in less than 1% of cases.
CVs in fact play a relatively minor role in the overall job hunt; there are far more important things you could be doing to find a job than endlessly polishing your CV. The covering letter, for example, is in many ways more important for new graduates; and networking is more important for more experienced job seekers. And yet... And yet...
Whilst a great CV will not be sufficient to get you a job, unfortunately a poor CV will be enough to kill your job application. There are some pretty basic things you can do to improve your chances.
So that's why I recommend job seekers I meet to read this book. I first read it in 2008, along with 10 other books on how to write a CV and/or how to find a job. The reason I liked Brilliant CV is partly because it happened to agree with most of the views I already held on what makes a good CV (yes, I know that's highly suspect confirmation bias but, as I said earlier, the whole area of evaluating CVs is a highly subjective business).
More importantly, they were the only authors who had made any attempt quantitatively to test the impact of various CV formats on HR Recruitment Managers and Headhunters, and so were able to base their recommendations on what works and does not work from their feedback. Plus, it was clearly-written, not too boring (I struggled to finish some of the other books I read) and well set out. I in fact used it to re-write my own CV, though I read it mainly to keep up to date with skills I need for my job. So, if I were to only buy one book on CV-writing, Brilliant CV is the one I would use.