Is your CV worth more or worthless? by Joanne Pagett

You've spent hours honing your CV, you've added detail, removed detail, have multiple CV's for different styles of roles and positions, but at the end of the day they all pretty much same the same thing, just using different terminology. Is the most important information the detail that you can't really put in your CV? Such as, what are you passionate about, is there a sector or industry you'd like to work in, but you haven't got the 100% fit on your CV, so you get overlooked.

Here's an example, like me, you may have a varied background in Project Management, Programme Management, Transformation, Business Change, Online, Digital, E-Commerce, Infrastructure and worked across many sectors, sectors within sectors which would make you appear a well rounded individual, who has a vast experience demonstrating your flexibility and ability to adapt. So, you see a role that you know you are able to do and have the ability to perform but as you don't have the exact terminology on your CV you overlooked despite being a suitable candidate.

Why are you overlooked? Could this be your CV or could it be the person reviewing your CV is only looking at the current or previous position you've recently held, therefore not seeing your full potential?

In today's market it would appear that unless you have all the correct "buzz words" on your CV your varied background or experience doesn't count. If this is the case, how can an industry change or improve it's service. Is this a poor reflection on you or the Recruiter / Agency?

Recently I have been overlooked for a position that I know I can do, along with bringing new ideas and adding value. My CV demonstrates a strong background in Financial Services, but this doesn't mean these skills can't be transferred and utilised in other industries or sectors.

It breaks down like this, for example Retail, this is a sector I hold in high regard and I am keen to move into, I know I would be a great candidate, as I have creativity and the passion to make the online retail user journey so much more engaging than what is on offer today from some of our "Great Household Retailers". Looking from the outside in, it's often easier to see where improvements can be made, as your not being clouded by, it's always been done like this! Well maybe that's the problem and it's just staring you in the face, but because you are looking for that in-facing experience the service currently being offered doesn't change/transform or worse still grow.

The definition of Retail is, "the sale of goods to ultimate consumers, usually in small quantities (opposed to wholesale)". Now, my CV may not demonstrate that I have "Retail" in the terms of High Street, but having worked in Marketing and Finance Retail I struggle to understand the difference. At the end of the day, it's about getting a consumer to engage with you to buy your product, whether it's, clothing, food, a service or Finance. The end game is to improve your bottom line, increase profit and retain and service your customer base, whilst offering an enjoyable shopping experience. Having previously gained Online Retail experience, OK not in my current position and it is quite a way down my CV, I appear to be overlooked.

Don't just look at what the CV say's think wider, can the candidates background and experience add value rather than, has the candidate got the right words or terminology in their CV. Hence my question is your CV worth more or worthless. You decide...

Thank you for taking the time to read my article and I hope it helps to expand the process of recruitment through asking, is the candidate able to help us to deliver what we need, rather than has the candidate got the right "buzz words" in their CV. Open your mind to new ways of thinking, you could be looking at the right candidate, but you just don't know it yet.


I am a proven SC Cleared Business Transformation Consultant/Programme Director, with demonstrable experience gained over 20 plus years across multiple sectors of business and technologies.  My attitude and approach ensures you achieve your outcomes whilst working alongside you focusing on your Strategic Vision and Business Goals.

Business Transformation and Change is a complex subject matter and is often underestimated, my passion is to remove the “noise” created when the balance is disrupted.   To ensure Transformational change is given the attention it warrants, Transformation should always be approached from Top Down, Bottom Up, this enables the Business to drive Tech Changes, not the other way around. 

I’m often asked What is Transformation? To answer this, Tech enables people to do Business, People change the Business, Process keeps the wheel turning.