Completing your CV & Standard Application Form and answers – should you copy ideas from a friend?

Completing your CV

I know, the SAF can be a daunting prospect and you want to make it as impressive as possible in order to stand out from the crowd. You may have a very eloquent friend who always seems to have the right answers. What could be the harm in using some of their wording for your own SAF?

Let’s take a look at some reasons why you may ‘borrow’ information from a friend, Google search or a trusted authority on the matter.

  1. It’s easy - having a starting point means you just need to add a few extra details.

  2. It sounds good - Someone else’s turn of phrase may be a bit better than your own

  3. Mimicking another person makes the copier feel more comfortable because those phrases have worked in the past.

> FREE Download: Free CV Template + tutorial here.


Your SAF is often your initial introduction to a potential employer. If you and your SAF do not match, this will ring alarm bells! Sometimes in SAF reviews with clients, I ask them to explain what something means to them and they can’t. They clutch at a few straws but eventually, they smile and tell me that they borrowed ideas or inspiration from a friend.

Together, we work together on THEIR own interest or story - I say “tell me more about that” or “How has that helped you in the classroom?” or “When did you begin becoming interested in that topic/hobby?”

Then we compose something that is authentic and real. I always warn that it is best to be honest in your application. The truth is so much easier to remember too and it will come across in an interview as natural and relaxed.

Your personal brand

You are unique. There is nothing wrong with giving an honest account of yourself.

Use the SAF and the interview as an opportunity to showcase why you are the right person for the job.

Good luck with your authenticity in your job applications. You are enough - just as you are.

I explain all about how to tell career stories that are unique and authentic in my online course ‘Selling Yourself - The Complete Guide to Applying for Teaching Jobs’. Learn more about it here.



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