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Is your CV underselling you?

Written by: Charlotte Rogers
Published on: 20 Dec 2019

Underselling CV Hero Image

Are you being modest and continuously underselling your abilities on your CV? You might not even notice, but you could be doing this. Some job seekers might think that if they are including a wide range of skills, good education and experience all on the same CV, it could be seen as bragging. But how else are you going to land your desired job? You need to sell yourself and learn to do it well. If you are creating a CV that the employer just can’t say no to, you’re going to get a lot further in your job search.

Your personal statement

Firstly, if you have decided to skip having a personal statement, now is the time to change your mind, go back and write one. It is so important to have a personal statement at the top of your CV. It gives the employer a short background to who you are, a summary of your experience and why you would be a good fit for the role you have applied for. It’s the part of your CV that is going to encourage the employer to read the rest of it. You want to get them interested enough to learn more.

If you already have a personal statement, ask yourself, have I written it well enough? Have you started by saying why you are interested in this field and in this job in particular? You want to personalise it and make it relevant to the industry and really sell yourself as a professional. If your personal statement doesn’t quite do this, go back and have another go at it. It can take some time to get it right, but it is worth the effort.

Does your CV have a skills section?

If you have answered this question with a no, why not? Your skills section may be what some employers are most interested in reading. They want to know that you have the specific skills needed for the role and if this isn’t stated on your CV, they might not even bother inviting you to an interview. If you have the skills, why are you not displaying them proudly? Modesty is not needed when writing your CV, this is the time and place to brag.

If you are applying for a job where the job spec has a long list of skills required, make sure you are adding all of the skills relevant to you into your skills section. You want to impress the employer and let them know what you can do. This section is also easy to tailor. If you are applying for similar roles, they will probably have similar requirements. However, you can easily edit this section to make it applicable for each job application.

Note your achievements

When job seekers are writing their CV, they may find it easier to simply list their job duties in the experience section. Where sharing a few of your daily tasks is a good thing, you want to use this space to focus on the achievements you have made whilst working for that employer. You want to show the reader that you have really had an impact on the business and that you will put in the same amount of effort if they were to hire you. Know your worth and the impact you have had on people, once you come to terms with how good of an employee you are, you can start to show this in your CV.

Failing to tailor

You might not have to tailor your CV for every job you apply for. However, failing to do so for certain jobs can really cause your CV to undersell you. You can tailor your personal statement and your skills section really easily. Use this opportunity to show the employer that you are right for them and that you can give them something. Sections like your experience can also be tailored, you may have experience that is more relevant for one job than another. Really think about how you can make your CV desirable for each job you apply for and you could start seeing results in no time.

When job hunting, you need to stay positive and you need to make sure that positivity is present throughout your CV. Underselling yourself on your CV is common and it is very important to make sure that you are not doing it. Don’t be afraid of bragging, this is the right place to be doing it. It is important to know your worth and know what you can bring to a company. If you know how good of an engineer you are, you can show this in a job application. Stand up for yourself, share your achievements and be proud of them.