You tell me that you’re looking to get off the treadmill of work and spend the rest of your life as a couch potato. If so, there are a number of things you can do:
- Marry a millionaire (or millionairess)
- Win the lottery
- Rob a bank
- Invent something clever
- Spend two minutes making some very clever changes to your CV
So, if you really are the budding daytime soap addict, then you’re going to tell me that the first four are all too much like hard work. What about the fifth, though? That’s more like it, surely? For the sake of a few minutes of your valuable time, you can make it so that you will never work again.
Have I got your ears or are you wondering if Jim will marry Serena only to find out that they were non-identical twins separated at birth? Turn the telly off and pay attention, please.
You’re lucky, I’ve had to deal with thousands of applications and CV’s of all descriptions so, if you’ll just leave that remote alone for a minute, I’ll let you in on the secret of not working.
All you need to do is to make sure that your CV:
- Doesn’t contain your telephone number and full address. If you can include an email account that you no longer own or never check or a phone number from somewhere that you used to live, so much the better. After all, you don’t want to be plagued with people trying to offer you work, now do you?
- Boasts your favourite hobbies are watching television, eating chocolates and drinking the ‘odd’ glass of beer or wine. Employers love to see someone who prefers to be horizontal rather than vertical.
- Contains plenty of spelling and grammar mistakes – especially if they’re pushed to the point of rendering the whole thing completely ambiguous. Everyone likes a quiz and your CV will entertain the office staff for ages as they pass it around trying to work out what you are trying to say.
- Informs the employer that you particularly liked the vacancy because it sounded like the kind of job that didn’t entail too much effort. If you are aged over 30, adding that you want something gentle to wind down to retirement with is also going to be appreciated. If you are under 30, say you have a lot of other commitments therefore you don’t want anything too challenging – that’s good, too.
- Omits to say which job you are interested in. This comes into its own when dealing with Local Authorities and large companies who may have dozens of jobs advertised at any one time. A subtle touch is garbling any employer’s reference number (never use the correct one).
- Excludes anything you were asked to include. For example, not putting a ‘no criminal convictions’ statement when you were supposed to provide one, leaving out details of your referees (when you were told to give the addresses of two) and so on. The personnel officer can then call you on a phone number that doesn’t work or send you an email that will bounce.
- Has been photocopied multiple times and that the version you submit is, at the very least, a copy of a copy of a copy of a copy. The goal is to end up with a CV that is grey text on grey paper. That way, not only will it be impossible to read, it will also leave uncooked toner on hands and clothing – a nice and memorable touch.
Is pinned together using a bent staple whose ends protrude. This makes your CV easy to locate by touch alone and can be visibly recognised by the blood stains from the hands of anyone who came into contact with it along the way.
- It’s good to see you smiling although I’m not kidding, by the way. I’ve seen all these (and many more) land on my desk at one time or another. The only thing that I could conclude (after I’d washed the toner off my hands and put a plaster on my finger) was that the applicant was more interested in the latest instalment of ‘Brothers and Sisters’ or ‘Family and Strangers’ or whatever dross makes it on to daytime television.
OK, you can pick up the remote control and go back to your slumbers now. Just remember to do what I said if you want to avoid working.