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I’ve tailored my CVs so why no HR job interviews?

CV and keyboard imageIt’s well known – especially in HR circles – that job applicants should tailor their CVs or online applications to each specific job as described by the recruiter, rather than send generic details about themselves. But increasingly – as more and more people apply for each advertised vacancy – HR job hopefuls find that even this isn’t working in their favour.

As one frustrated jobseeker says on a forum: “Every application I submit includes a specifically tailored CV or application form. Even though I very carefully stick to the requirements of the job description and highlight successes to demonstrate my abilities and experience, I’ve yet to be offered an interview.”

Not getting to the interview stage – when all that effort has been put into an application – can be soul destroying. So what should be done, to increase your chances of getting invited to an HR job interview?
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How hobbies can help you land your dream job in HR

Canoeing hobbies

By Heidi Nicholson

Opinions are divided on whether there is any purpose to the “interests” section of a CV. The traditional view is that your hobbies and pastimes show something of you as a person and demonstrate how rounded you are. The contrary view is that including these only wastes precious space on your CV, especially if they bear no relevance to your ability to do the job in question. Furthermore, you also run the risk of alienating someone who does not share your interests – and believe you me, I’ve seen it happen.

My own view is that you should not automatically insert an interests section on your CV. While showing you have interests beyond studying may be important for a recent school leaver or graduate, this has less relevance as your career progresses. Certainly, showing you are a rounded person will have little impact if you are missing some key competency for the job you are applying for.

Furthermore, the ill-considered inclusion of things that you think make you sound interesting may of course work against you. A number of humorous articles appear on the internet offering alternative readings of just about any hobby or interest you may list. To give you a flavour, some commonly cited ones include:

• Wine: may frequently come to work hung over.

• Travel: only interested in the annual leave allowance.

• Dangerous sports: could take a lot of sick days owing to injury.

I could go on but I am sure you get the picture.
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