He job-hops quite a bit, goes on a sojourn to India for a year, and to top it off, he has dyslexia. Would you hire this guy? His name is Steve Jobs

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How An Imperfect CV Could Make You The Perfect Candidate

photo: happily grey


Sometimes I see mistakes on a CV that make me sigh. One of those is glossing over relevant experience in favor of something else. In terms of editorial work, I like to see lots of writing experience at the top (especially voluntary!) even if it’s only on your own blog. But I do know that everyone needs to make a living, so I’ll look at the other jobs you’ve been doing and what skills you’ve picked up, too. Often people think if their CV is a disappointment if it isn’t polished and if you haven’t been doing what you love since you were 16 years old.

Wrong. This TED talk by Regina Hartley explains why the best hire might not be the best CV.

“We call A “the Silver Spoon,” the one who clearly had advantages and was destined for success. And we call B “the Scrapper,” the one who had to fight against tremendous odds to get to the same point. You just heard a human resources director refer to people as Silver Spoons and Scrappers –“

While it may not be politically correct, it shows that every CV she receives fits into two distinct piles, and over the years she has learned a lot about each type of person behind the CV. “I’ve learned something about people whose experiences read like a patchwork quilt, that makes me stop and fully consider them before tossing their resumes away. A series of odd jobs may indicate inconsistency, lack of focus, unpredictability. Or it may signal a committed struggle against obstacles.”

She came from an adverse background and acknowledges that the ‘Silver Spoon’ CVs work incredibly hard to get to where they are, but also doesn’t think you should hire them all the time. “Take this resume. This guy’s parents give him up for adoption. He never finishes college. He job-hops quite a bit, goes on a sojourn to India for a year, and to top it off, he has dyslexia. Would you hire this guy? His name is Steve Jobs.”

So, if your CV is patchworked and has some gaps, you might just be the right person for the job!

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  • So glad that I read this! Looking at the title, I thought that it was going to be an article about “it´ok if your CV is full of mistakes”, but it actually was super interesting! Ted Talks are always a great inspiration and this one was super inspiring. It makes us feel like we can all make it. And we can! The perfect background is not synonym of success, because even those people who have a lot of difficulties and problems are able to make it! Thank you so so much for this motivation!



  • Such a great post

  • This post is so encouraging to read =o) Especially with a competitive job market today


  • Elishia Chave

    As a freelancer I have to fight every couple of months for jobs and I’m constantly having to show why I am right for a job… it’s exhausting, but this post certainly gives me hope each time I pup my CV up against someone who has climbed the ladder more successfully!! Thanks :)


  • Miss N.W

    This is so great to read! My CV is a patchwork and my friends take the piss as I am often job hopping… but I arrived into the UK as a baby, was in foster home until 7 then adopted. Didn’t have the best start in life and I like to think I have worked my arse off to get where I am today! Against all odds I went to college & university & graduated with a 2:1 in Psychology! I personally (obviously a bit bias) think that hard work when all odds are against you is far more admirably than someone who has had the best education, home life and the ability to have any job they want due to nepotism!
    careergirlsite.wordpress.com xoxo

  • Emilie Mckenzie

    Thank you for this post, it is both reassuring and encouraging to read a more positive and pragmatic reading of experiences that are considered as inconsistencies rather than enriching!