In a job interview you will be asked (nine times out of ten) what your biggest weakness is. Whilst you need to think about addressing this during a job interview, you also need to think about it when you are writing a CV.
Just like an interview your CV is all about you. It’s designed to highlight your skills but it can also highlight weaknesses. There are a variety of weaknesses that are visible on a CV; gaps in employment, lack of work experience, lack of qualifications, lack of managerial experience, lack of versatility, a long list of employers and a short time period in each role on your CV.
These may not necessarily be weaknesses but an employer will automatically be looking for gaps to exploit – not because they want to catch you out but because they want to ensure you are the best candidate for the job.
So, how do you adapt your CV writing and turn your weaknesses into strengths?
Gaps in Employment
Gaps in employment can occur for a variety of different reasons. The important thing is to be honest with the employer. Tell them why there is a gap and try and turn it into a positive. E.g. I was looking for the right career move and, because I am confident and selective with my career choices, I didn’t want to accept a position I didn’t think I could excel in. But before you reach this stage you could fill the gaps with work experience or extra-curricular activity. This will avoid the awkward questioning.
Lack of Work Experience
If your weakness is that you have only worked for one employer you can easily turn this into a positive. Display your commitment to the company and explain you were there for a long time (not because you were too comfortable) but because you were dedicated and loyal.
Lack of Qualifications
If a particular role needs certain qualifications and you don’t have them then, unfortunately, you may have to accept that they will choose a different candidate. But to increase your chances of success and to strengthen your CV you could do some work experience in the chosen industry. Some companies actually prefer experience to degrees.
Lack of Managerial Experience
If you have not been in a management role, you can still emphasise your leadership qualities. Perhaps you led a project in your last role? Perhaps you mentored someone in your last job because they were struggling to settle into the company? Look back at your career history and try and include leadership moments in your CV.
Lack of Versatility
If you have only worked for one employer, your CV (at first glance) won’t look that versatile. But during your time there you must have taken on new responsibilities, worked on projects that were not in your area and progressed within the company? Ensure you write this down!
Long List of Employers/Short Time in Each Job
If you have worked for multiple companies this can make employers wary. They will most likely be wondering why you have moved around so much, why you haven’t been committed to one organisation and why you are looking around again. You can easily turn this into a positive – you are ambitious, you are creative, you like fresh challenges, you like to be kept busy…you see where we’re going with this?
So when writing your professional CV ensure you are addressing any weaknesses and turning them into strengths – this will improve your chances of winning a job interview and will help with interview preparation.
Now that you’ve got some more information on strengthening your CV, why not start writing it with our CV builder tool today?