Is there a place for upselling when it comes to a CV?

Do you love it, loathe it, or simply expect it as part of daily life?  Whatever your answer it appears upselling is here to stay – and it’s getting increasingly obvious in many aspects of our lives; including how we write our CV’s.

Purchasing a coffee recently, I was suddenly struck by the fact that although I knew what I set out to buy, I found myself coming away from the counter with a medium coffee rather than my usual small cup. Had I just been skilfully led by someone who has been trained in the art of upselling. I sipped my drink and searched on my phone – apparently Google describes this phenomenon as ‘encouraging the purchase of something that would make the primary purchase more expensive’.

With this concept on my mind and with a day of interviews ahead of me, I decided to re-read the profiles of the people I was due to meet. It was an interesting experience. My fresh perspective on how they chose to communicate their skills and experience showed distinct upselling elements in their profiles.

Some CVs were more obvious than others in their hype. Introductions to the individual via their profile paragraph, were often pieces of sheer genius. The writer had highlighted the ‘add value’ elements of their career, and eloquently supported this with further commentary on the benefits of employing them.

I am realistic enough to know, that not every CV I read is 100% factual, but I am seeing a significant change in how people communicate their strengths, skills, and experience and how they relate to the role being applied for.

Without exception, regardless of the function, level, geography, almost every CV has ‘up-selling’ points within it. This document needs to act as a ‘shop window display’ as to what that individual has to offer. Clever candidates ensure that their resume has been crafted carefully to ensure they stand out from the competition, but just how much embellished information is OK to add to the facts?

So, the next time you are applying for a role, perhaps simply providing the facts is the best way to get you noticed. I’m all for making the most of what you have, but when it comes to being assessed for the opportunity, you may find that some of the upselling will be difficult to evidence. Let’s not confuse CV upselling with CV fabrication.

Linda Walmsley

Co-Founder and Director

Walmsley Wilkinson Executive and Management Recruitment

Walmsley Wilkinson recruitment management solutions

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