This is not a 5/5 CV

I’ve spent a lot of time leafing through CVs and browsing portfolio websites in the last month or so. We’re growing quite a bit at the moment and I need to make sure we’re only adding great people to our team. One thing that crops up more often than it should on CVs is a real pet peeve of mine, so consider this free advice.

Somewhere down the line some design grad produced a CV that listed all the software they worked with and alongside each they scored themselves out of five. Clearly this worked because years later and it’s still being used. What’s more it has evolved. 5/5 has become bar charts, star ratings and scores out of 100. I’ve even see mini pie charts. It’s stretched to developers too - to be fair they might have started it - who list language after language, sometimes filling a whole page, diligently scoring themselves like their career was some movie review.

Stop this now.

Not only are you never likely to give yourself less than 60% on a CV, but you’re more often than not going to give yourself full marks. 100%! Are you kidding me?! I’ve never once met anyone who is perfect at anything, and the very best people I’ve worked with would be the first to admit their weaknesses.

Try telling me about how you’ve applied your knowledge of Photoshop or PHP. Explain with relevant examples that demonstrate advanced skills - that’s how you really show off.

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My name is Dan, I'm a product manager and entrepreneur living and working in London. Check out my blog archive or read more about me.