I am sure you’ve heard it all before. Sex sells right? Those folks who are in the advertising and marketing world would know that their forefathers caught onto this gem of a phenomenon centuries ago and have exploited it brilliantly. Other people have also cottoned on to this, but tend to mix the words up a little so it sounds more like “sells sex…” But I guess we’ll leave that to another column. The point is that as humans we have a few design flaws. And one of those is that we appear to be naturally attracted to sexiness. I know, I know, it smacks of some stereotypical, chauvinistic, sexist gender argument, but in truth it is well, er…..true! And whether you like it or not, you are part of the whole cycle of attraction, desire, obsession and getting what you want. Yes, you may have learned how to delay your gratification, and you may have developed a well controlled sense of distinction. When it comes down to it though, I am sure you still have an eye for what is sexy, and what’s not! So how does this all play out in the often boring world of finding a job? Let’s think about that for a second. Okay, moving on. You are human right? And you have, want or need a job, right? So this is how the whole sexiness thing plays out for you. Firstly, it doesn’t matter how many labour laws our underpaid public servants manage to conjure up to try and keep things completely sterile and objective. The fact is each of us will experience an emotional reaction to something we see for the first time. You no doubt have heard of “making a good first impression.” Or for the romantics, you probably also believe in what is often termed, “love at first sight.” The funny thing is that these trends actually have some scientific basis, and are indeed quite credible facts. We experience emotions when we meet someone for the first time, or when our eye happens to catch something beautiful. The opposite is also true. Our little built in sexiness meter helps us categorise things that we feel attracted to and things we tend to reject. Now you can sit there with that skew look and think of all the possible reasons why I’m talking absolute rubbish, but let me say this. I have not only seen this stuff play out in job applications, interviews and final selection, but I’ve also been subjected to it myself. Let me explain this in a quick story. I assisted a prominent leader of this country to select staff to a fairly senior team of professionals. We designed what I thought was a pretty flawless selection process. Turned out though, you cannot always predict what your panel of assessors will dish up. So as our short list became thankfully shorter, we ended up with two candidates. One who was very handsome, groomed and athletic, the other, let’s just say looked like he’d fallen off the back of a lorry. Guess who got the job? Months passed when one of the panellists admitted to me that she’d chosen the sexy guy because he looked hot! You can say what you want, but sex sells! Now let’s put this into practice with your CV. Frankly, I don’t care what you look like, but do you present well? Are you the kind of person that thinks the only thing that’s important is that you do a good job? If you are, you better keep reading. People who say things like, “it’s time to dust off the old CV” are already losing ground. Your CV is your advert. Tell me honestly which successful business allows their advertising to become stale? None of them, right! That’s because they know they have to remain sexy to you. So start with the CV. Pay attention to the way it looks. The way it sounds, and importantly, the way it makes you feel when you read it. Does it inspire you? Would you be eager to meet the person who it is talking about? That’s the important stuff. Writing a CV is like turning science into art. It must remain factual, but it must sound like poetry. Now go get that CV, and ask yourself, “is this a beautiful thing?”
IS YOUR CV SEXY ENOUGH?
- Your CV is your advert. But is it a sexy one, or a very boring, dull document?
- Rewrite your CV a few times, changing the way you say things about yourself.
- When you read it, does it inspire you to want to meet the person it talks about?
- Leave the boring stuff to the end of the CV. Start with the cool, sexy stuff.
- Your CV is based on facts. But facts can be written to sound interesting.
- Treat your CV like a badge you would wear. Is it fashionable, or does it feel like a boring label.