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ChangingMinds Blog! > Blog Archive > 03-Mar-13


Sunday 03-March-13

Selling to job-hunters

Sometimes I sit and wonder what I shall blog about this week. Other times, a subject just drops into my lap, which it just did. I received an email which told me that the sender had reviewed my CV (aka resum?, and that it was not perfect. Oh dear. I have occasionally put out my CV for pieces of work but I am not particularly looking for a job at the moment, so they probably sucked it out of a database somewhere.

So let's see what they have to say. An early note is that:

Your opening statement needs to be more concise, focused and to deliver more ?punch?. At the moment, it does not do you justice.

Sounds credible? How about if it was your CV/resum? Perhaps you might think it a reasonable statement too. This generalized kind of thing uses the same principle as astrology predictions, where most people who read them read only their own star sign and may be struck by how accurate they seem (but if they read others, they too might seem reasonable!). This is an example of the Personal Validation Fallacy, also known as the Barnum Principle or the Forer Effect. We interpret statements about us through the lens of self-perception and unconsciously add detail. This makes generalized statements seem quite accurate, especially if they are flattering in some way.

The blurb continues, including statements such as:

...there is not a good use of space and the layout appears cluttered...

Well I might disagree with this, as I do make very careful use of space. But then I've accepted their first statement which seems to be caring ('does not do you justice') so perhaps this may be true. The 'punch' word in the first statement also may well make me feel a bit beaten down. They then pick me up with a nice compliment, followed by another slapping-down stern warning:

Your experience and skills are impressive. However, at the moment, an employer could miss out on key factors that could clinch you an interview.

And of course they can help me get it right and get a job. And their very reasonable charges are nothing as compared with the salary I could get. To add a frightener, they point out that 'The Office of National Statistics shows in the last 12 months, the average number of applications per job vacancy has risen from 7 to 37.'

Perhaps they are right. Maybe I am a bit over-confident. I followed their link and they do look like a bona fide company. It is likely that they did find my CV/resum?and perhaps I could do better. But then writing for this website does make me very analytical and rather suspicious of emails that appear out of the blue.

I won't be calling them, but at least I got an interesting blog out of it.

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