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This week, I’d like to look at some of more interesting jobs I’ve seen during my time in recruitment, and how important it is to explain these roles clearly on a CV.

This all came about after I found myself reading an old Recruitment Grapevine article containing a fabulous graphic about ‘unusual jobs you didn’t know existed’. It included such gems as “Bed Warmer” and “Crisp Taster” (perhaps the jobs could be combined for efficiency and economy?). There was even a Professional Queuer role, advertised at £20ph, a job clearly worth waiting for…

These abstract positions got me thinking of some of the crazier job descriptions that I have seen in CV's over the years. I’m certainly an advocate of giving the reader an insight into the duties of the role but some explanations were head-scratchers that couldn’t help but raise a smile. Most notably, the “Hip joint rectification grinder” who explained the role included “grinding of orthopaedic hips… using a forklift truck.” He was also sure to point out this forklift truck usage was “not certified”.

Another one for the records (wait for it…) relates to a young man from Poland with a one-page CV where three quarters of the profile comprised a discography of record releases and media appearances. As much as I’d laud his musical success, I can’t help but feel not listing any vaguely relevant work experience might have been an oversight when applying for roles outside of the audio industry.

Whilst bicycles have undoubtedly become more complex in recent times, they were pretty straight forward in the late eighties from what I recall. One candidate, however, proudly presented himself as a ‘Bicycle Engineer’. After explaining his duties included “assembling and repairing complex bicycles and equipment”, he expanded that he “provided detailed customer service to difficult, high-priority, and non-routine enquiries concerning bicycles”. Perhaps a level of overstatement there but that’s not uncommon on CV's. However, I failed to see how this background would qualify the candidate for the job he had applied for, which was as a mechanical engineer within the oil and gas industry.

For sure, ‘dressing things up’ on a CV can be a turn-off. Honesty is a far better policy – although I recalled on particular applicant who perhaps took the blunt approach a little too far when stating “I currently work for (company) where my title is Customer Services – which, in itself, is rather a mongrel of a job.”

What I took away from these reflections is the necessity of ensuring the description of the work you carry out in any job – no matter how strange that job might be – demonstrates to a potential employer how you may be appropriate for their specific role and their specific industry. No matter how impressive (or inane) your achievements were in a previous position, if they’re not clearly connected to what the client needs, they’re white noise.


Ballistic Statistic of the Week

Over three quarters of CV's with unprofessional e-mail addresses, such as the recently noticed ilivtolovu@***.com, are rejected.


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