CVs, What’s the Big Issue? 3 Golden Rules to CV Perfection



It occurred to me, whilst walking to work recently that Union Street (the Main street in Aberdeen’s city centre) was devoid of its usual 20+ Big Issue sellers, normally this wouldn’t register with me but I began to think, how is it possible that anyone could miss such an opportunity to trade when

a) there’s no competition for the product
b) the market is buoyant
c) the market is more receptive

These conditions are perfect for doing business

So I thought about the problem some more and this got me to thinking (apologies in advance, this bit really irritates me) why it that the standard sales approach is “Big Issue?”  Seriously?!  Is this it?!  If I called my candidates and said: “New job?” what would my success rate be?  Zero.

One of the first things I learned in sales was “Tell the features, sell the benefits”, it’s pretty basic but it works.  So, instead of uttering “Big Issue?” all day long why not offer, “Is Derren Brown a fake?” (

Is that not more engaging?

I repeatedly see people falling into the same trap with their CV; don’t just tell me you are an “Infrastructure Engineer who looks after a server estate” Your title tells me this so come on, engage with me, forget the two page rule and for each job you’ve had tell me:

a) What is/was the purpose of your role
b) What do/did you do on a daily basis (I want all the technology, however obvious, give me 8-12 bullet points here)
c) What have/did you achieve/projects involved in (and to what extent)

Big Issue?


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