2.2 Or Not 2.2, That is the Question
A classic mistake made by many candidates when writing their CV is to hold back information that really should be included.
Employers do not want to know every detail about a candidate. We expect your CV will be limited to one or two pages. We also fully appreciate that it is a marketing document and its purpose is to get us excited about you, so of course much of your life will not be written out in detail.
…But Often Not In Your Best Interest
There are many occasions when I believe the decision to omit specific information is ill-judged. A good example of this is when a candidate withholds their degree grade because they got a 2.2. Of course, in almost all cases a higher grade would have been preferable, but by omitting to put it on your CV, as recruiters we may assume you have been awarded a 3rd or worse, not passed. It will also look like a deliberate decision to omit this information as you have plenty of space to include it, and have added details that would generally be regarded as less important.
We would very likely be right to have made this assumption. In our experience of assessing tens of thousands of CV’s, we rarely find a CV where the grade has been omitted and the actual grade gained was higher than a 2.2. I expect our experience mirrors that of other recruiters, so by making the decision to omit the grade, you are definitely scoring an own goal.
Often Better To Explain
Similarly, due to extenuating circumstances you may have taken an extra year to complete your degree. If your degree took 4 years then it is better to give this detail rather than have an unexplained 12 month gap which will likely raise further concerns. I would also ensure that you explain any other gaps in your CV, for example between completing your degree and obtaining your first job. Don’t leave it up to the recruiter to try and work out what you were doing, or where you were. Trust me – as those individuals who review your CV are often looking for ways to remove applications from the process, they will typically assume the worst and that wonderful travelling adventure (which you omitted to include on your CV because it was not work-related) could easily turn into a stint in Her Majesty’s Service!
What Relationship Do You Want With Your Future Employer?
I’m all for positive spin on your CV, and I want you to show me your best side in an interview, but your CV should be the start of an honest relationship with your future employer, not setting up a feeling of mistrust and deception.
In summary, it is important to be careful that you strike the right balance when deciding what information you will and won’t include on your CV.