Disadvantages of Using a Sample CV

Elizabeth graduated with a degree in textile design and even landed herself an entry-level job with a fashion house. When she decided to move on, she went online to look for a sample CV template she could use to send out to recruiters. Unfortunately, none of the CVs seemed to be relevant to the type of position she was looking for.

As she sat surrounded by the sample CVs she had downloaded from the Internet, she was reminded of something she handled all day long: fabric. Some sample CV formats were like starched linen - stiff and inflexible. Others seemed more like nylon - shapeless and all over the place.

What are these?

None of the sample CVs had the right blend: a 'fabric' that would give her both the perfect fit for her individual credentials and the stretchy flexibility she needed to appeal to a variety of recruiters and employers. Elizabeth had yet to discover iProfile, a free online online CV that gives those searching for a job both a smart fit and accommodating stretch.

When websites and books provide a free sample CV, their idea is to help you summarize your educational and academic backgrounds along with your professional experience, awards, honours, affiliations, etc. These details are not unimportant but using a sample CV as a basis for writing your own CV does little to help you get noticed by recruiters or potential employers.

Here are a few points to consider before opting to use a sample CV as part of your job searching strategy:

  • Bulky CVs Get Dumped. By using a sample CV as a guide, you will probably end up with a bulky, multi-page document. The CV template may ask you to list the address and contact information of every educational institution you attended and every grade you ever scored. Long, padded CVs are less likely to catch an employer's attention and they run the risk of going straight into the dustbin.
  • Wasted Time and Effort. Sample CVs often encourage you to spend time on layout, design, fonts, borders, etc. Websites that provide sample CVs fail to mention that recruiters often employ staff or special software to extract just the key information from the CV and place it into their databases. Thus all the formatting and design elements associated with sample CVs are removed before the CV even reaches the true decision makers.
  • Irrelevant or Harmful Information. Sample CV formats almost never warn you against including irrelevant information that could harm your chances of landing a job, and they may in fact ask you to include them. Personal details such as your age, marital status and ethnicity could be used to discriminate against you during the candidate screening process.
  • Ignoring the Employer. This is probably the biggest negative about using a sample CV. A professional CV can be customised to an individual employer and role, scoring you points for your interest in and knowledge about them. On the other hand, using a sample CV format forces you into a cookie-cutter approach, which makes it difficult to tailor your CV to a specific opportunity.

Writing the Perfect iProfile CV

A better alternative to using a sample CV is to create a free iProfile. iProfile provides you with an easy to use, time-saving format to effectively present the information that recruiters want to see. Unlike sample CVs, an iProfile ensures your information will not be filtered out by data entry procedures since the iProfile template has been designed with these filtering processes in mind.

In addition to providing you with the layout to plug your CV data into, iProfile provides tips on what details to include. Unlike a sample CV, the iProfile template allows you to easily update information through a full range of editing and customising options.

In addition, you can easily send your iProfile to multiple recruiters, many of whom have adopted and embraced the iProfile format in their organisations. And in contrast to sample CV websites, which are typically used once and then never visited again, iProfile keeps you updated with career advice, unique feedback from recruiters and a variety of other useful resources.

Compared to the one-size-fits-all world of the sample CV, iProfile makes sure you get noticed and look your best in front of thousands of recruiters and potential employers. A bit like Lycra, your iProfile CV will keep you comfortable and fully in control, letting you show off your best stuff.