“It’ll look good on your CV”

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Do it,” they said, “it’ll look good on your CV.”

Hang on there pal … Wait a second. My CV?! Is that the only reason I should be doing this?

I don’t think so.

There is an obsession these days with telling others, especially school kids, to do things because “it’ll look good on their CVs”. I’ve heard this so many times. It really frustrates me. Why is my CV so important? It’s just a bit of paper. Sure you might not get the interview if yours isn’t a good one, but you sure won’t get the job just based on your CV.

Who really cares if you were a prefect at school? Or if you were in the school sports teams? What employers really want to know is what did you learn? And how can you apply that knowledge to help them? They want to know the reasons why you volunteered, not the fact that you did. Since when did volunteering become about the volunteer?

We shouldn’t do a task just to please others and say I can put that on my CV. We should be looking at different situations and analysing how they can benefit others as well as ourselves in terms of our development. What skills can we learn from them?

We forget that the most desired characteristics in the majority of jobs are usually built around how we interact with other people. All too often we complete tasks just to tick them off a list.

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12 Comments Add yours

  1. I can see where you’re coming from. Why would we just do something that we don’t even enjoy, just so our applications look better? I would think that jobs that are looking for good leaders and role models would want people who do things because they WANT to and because they feel a responsibility to help OTHERS, not just to benefit themselves. You’re right about the example of sports too. Let’s say that I apply for a job to work with animals. Why should me being on a sports team matter? It makes no sense! I agree, we shouldn’t just do things because it might look good to colleges or potential employers. We should do things because we want to volunteer or because we have a desire to.

    1. M_McKeen says:

      That’s exactly my point! I’m so glad we agree! 🙂 All too often we do things at school because we are told to do them. We don’t even question why.

  2. Oh my goodness yes. Pet hate of mine. As if there isn’t more to life.

  3. carlalouise89 says:

    Yes, I completely agree!! The sad thing is, so many employers judge a CV heavily: I’ve learnt that good results don’t equal a good employee, and vice versa. Employers need to start looking beyond a CV – especially when a lot of schools now make community service part of their curriculum (to help with CVs/employment opportunities). If it’s mandatory, it kind of defeats the ‘voluntary’ part.

    1. M_McKeen says:

      I couldn’t agree more!

  4. Ah, the CV/resume. It’s a tricky balance between doing things that you love to do and being mindful of what looks “good.” If you do something that you dislike just because it looks good on a resume, that doesn’t make sense. I think if you can find an activity that you enjoy AND looks at least decent on a resume, that’s the best bet. Because, unfortunately, like Carla Louise sad, resumes do matter at this point in time. I agree that employers need to start looking beyond the resume and get to know the person behind it!

    1. M_McKeen says:

      Definitely! I think we’ll learn and develop more as a person if we spend our time doing stuff we like. Yeah it’s a shame, but I guess it’s just an easy way to whittle down the number of applicants.

  5. Michelle says:

    In the 1990s volunteering was apart of a economics history class in high school that we all had to participate in. At least the type of volunteer was something that the students could choose. I volunteered for a walk-a-thon. That volunteer doesn’t matter at all as I have never added it to my resume. But volunteering has helped some students be a little more civil to other people, especially with the public volunteering.

    1. M_McKeen says:

      Yes I can see what you mean. Volunteering is a great opportunity to learn and develop new skills that you never thought you had. How did your walk-a-thon go? What did you need to do?

  6. Michelle says:

    Oh and I really like this post. Well said.

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