Skeletons in the Closet – PM CV Tips

As it is All Hallows Eve, far be it for me to pass up on a ghoulishly themed article, last year we looked at all things scary when it comes to job applications.  Something  I came across recently was a CV which seemed to say all the right things in regards to areas covered within the roles, but on asking questions about different aspects such as change management (which had been listed) it became clear that not all was as it seems. As a former PM recruiter I know only too well that candidates will be vetted on the detail supplied in their CV – usually at the point of contact with a recruiter but sometimes not until interview. Regardless of when this happens, rest assured it halloweenwill happen and if you have not got examples to back up your statements then you will be rejected for the role. Therefore it is important to keep it real, when I asked why the candidate had stated areas which they hadn’t actually touched on the response was “I thought it was what the employers want to see on the CV”. I pointed out that it would soon become clear there was no evidence to substantiate the claims and pointed out that they actually have some great experience despite the lack of exposure to particular elements. Why paint an untrue picture when you can create a masterpiece which is true and will gain interviews for the right roles? Scary to think some still believe it is OK to include untruths and not be found out. As tempting as it may be to try and boost your CV, don’t! Leave the dramatics and masks for Halloween parties and going out playing Trick or Treat with the kids.

Here’s a short guide to getting it right:

  • Nightmare on Elm Street or more Elmo on Sesame Street – don’t embellish situations / assignments to make them sound more interesting.
  • Pumpkin Carving or more pumpkin soup – think about how you make your mark within an organisation, are you carving the way or just mixing in with the soup.
  • Skeletons in the closet – lying is lying, you will not only jeopardise your job application by making false statements.
  • Witches and Warlocks – does what you clam sound like magic, or a little too good to be true? This will get questioned; it is about striking a balance between selling yourself and being realistic.
  • Devils and Ghouls – don’t become one of these! You will soon get a reputation with recruiters who will not touch you in the future and certainly won’t thank you if you have ruined a relationship with their client.


Have a fantastic All Hallows Eve and get the need to dress up out of your system – you might get some sweets and will certainly gain a more positive response than doing it in your CV.

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