The 5 Biggest Barriers To Writing A Winning CV Or Resume

person handing cv, attached to a clipboard, accross desk

by Duncan Brodie

For just about any job you are interested in, one of the first things you will have to do is write a CV or résumé. While in theory this seems really easy to do, in practice many people struggle. So what in my experience are the 5 biggest barriers to writing a winning CV?

Barrier 1: We Worry About Blowing Our Own Trumpet

Like it or not, a CV or résumé is a personal marketing document. When we have to put what we have to offer down on paper, it can be hugely tempting to understate what we have to offer and say why we believe we are the logical choice for interview. The reality is we know ourselves better than anyone else and of course we need to be self-aware. At the same time we don’t want to under play our potential so much that it is easy for the interviewer to say “no”.

Barrier 2: We Don’t Know What To Include

As you become more experienced and have more roles, the challenge is to know what to put in and what to leave out. Faced with this dilemma it is really easy to leave out real gems and include mediocre things. One thing that is often missing but can really make you stand out is including results and achievements.

Barrier 3: We Don’t Know Ourselves

So often people say to me when I point out a strength or quality that it is so obvious and wonder why could they not see it for themselves. The truth is most of us spend very little time sitting back and reflecting on what we do really well. Simply brainstorming on this will give you a ton of ideas and a really fast way of getting to the heart of what we do best.

Barrier 4: We Worry About Living Up To Expectations

When potential recruiters read your CV or résumé, they form an opinion of you and what you are going to be like based on what you have written. If you don’t live up to those expectations from the first minute of the interview you face a big struggle. To overcome this do a sense check between what you have written and what you are really like.

Barrier 5: We Ask The Wrong People

Any time you ask for feedback you need to make sure that you are going to get something constructive and useful. Asking your family or friends for their thoughts on your CV or résumé might seem like a great idea. On the other hand, will they really give you the constructive feedback and input that you need?

The Reality: Writing a CV or résumé is a challenge and with the right help and support you can really transform what you currently have into something that really gets you moving forward in your career.

If you are an accountant who is struggling to achieve the success you desire, I invite you to sign up for my free report, The 7 Biggest Barriers To Having A Successful Career In Accountancy at

Duncan Brodie of Goals and Achievements helps accountants and professional people to build successful careers