14 Oct 17:00 by Alejandro Rodriguez Garcia


Your mates, you love them. You spend hours together, putting the world to rights over a pint or glass of wine. They understand you better than your family and know you better than you know yourself.

So, whatever you do, DON’T ask them for advice about your CV or how to market yourself to a prospective employer!

Let me explain.

Your Friends Are Not Impartial.

Let’s be fair, if you’re thinking of changing your job, you’re friends are probably the ones you’ll tell first. They’ll give you tons of encouragement along the way and will be your biggest fans, which is why you can’t ask them to give you impartial feedback on your CV, Cover Letter or LinkedIn Profile – your personal marketing brochures.

They won’t want to see you hurt and they won’t want to crush your dreams of a new job/career, so they’ll say whatever it takes to make you happy. They’ll tell you it sounds like a great idea and you have an amazing CV, but that’s not actually what you need to hear.

When you’re thinking of changing careers, applying for a new job or a promotion, you need to be a tough cookie. You need to man-up and hear the truth – the truth may be that you simply don’t have the right skills, experience or qualifications for the job, or it could be that you’re not presenting your abilities well enough to recruiters or potential employers. It could be that your CV or LinkedIn Profile needs some work because they aren’t going to sell ‘Brand You’!

Don’t put your mates in the position where they have to be the ones to tell you – please!

They Aren’t Your Ideal Employer or a Recruiter

Unless you’re planning to go and work for them, they’re NOT the ones you need to target your marketing towards. Your CV, Cover Letter and LinkedIn Profile need to be aimed at the recruiters and employers you are trying to attract.

You need to tell them what THEY want to know – which is sometimes different from what you might want to tell them.

So often I see boring CVs which detail every little bit of somebody’s career – but don’t match the requirements of the job.

So often I see LinkedIn Profiles which are littered with poor grammar and spelling mistakes and which tell the reader diddly-squat about the person’s skills, experience and qualifications, let alone being properly optimised so they show up in recruiter searches. It’s not Facebook, people!

So often I see bland Cover Letters which pretty much just say; ‘Please read my CV for further details’ without giving the reader a good reason to do so.

Your Friends Have Limiting Beliefs

Everybody’s an expert! Everybody knows how to write a fantastic CV which will have recruiters/employers running after you to grab you before somebody else does. Your mate/somebody in the bar/down the pub/at work/in the rugby club has a great CV so copy his/take his advice/no point paying somebody to write your CV, it’s easy .....Really?

I see hundreds of CVs every week and if it was that easy, more good people would be in good jobs, rather than despairing because they’ve sent out 200 CVs but haven’t had one call.

Don’t get me wrong, your friends give you this advice because they want to save you a little bit of money, help you out and support you.

But you can’t promote Brand You to the world if you’re copying somebody else or taking the easy options. You need to be brave to launch yourself onto today’s jobs market – be brave enough to put yourself out there, sell your skills, apply for the right jobs and keep going when it gets tough. The last thing you need to do is lower your standards and expectations and put out a second rate CV, Cover Letter or LinkedIn profile that doesn’t attract attention from the right people. Raise your expectations and aim high. Give yourself the best chance of securing your new role – even if does cost the equivalent of a night out.

You need to hang onto your friends, they are your cheerleaders, shoulder to cry on, support network and you’re going to need them. Take time for them. Keep them in the loop with your job search.

Go celebrate with them when you get your first job offer!

If you’re ready to get professional help to market your skills, come and visit us today:

Sian Richardson,

We specialise in providing advice and guidance on all aspects of Career Transition, Job Search, CVs, Cover Letters, LinkedIn Profiles and Interview Skills to Service Leavers and Ex-Military.