Turbo Charge Your CV in 7 Steps
The CV is now more of a sales document than ever before, therefore it has to be compelling to its audience.
- Like any sales document the CV needs to show benefits to the potential employer – in this case, in the form of notable achievements where you have made or saved your employer money or helped the organisation meet and exceed its objectives. These achievements come in the form of exceeding targets, delivering projects/change/improvements, formulating and implementing ideas etc. Achievements are so important that in my opinion they should be positioned on the front page, near the top of the CV. These achievements can then also be repeated through the CV contextually showing where they were achieved and when. This serves to reinforce them making it easier for the employer to make a positive judgement on you.
- I personally feel that the profile most people write at the top of the CV serves very little purpose as it is nothing more than a self-promoting monologue. A self-written profile is not going to be anything other than positive, yet is it compelling to the audience? In my experience having someone else write your profile for you in the form of a testimonial is far more compelling and believable; after all it’s the opinion of someone else.
- Ensure the CV covers gaps in employment with explanations as to the reasons why (save for very short periods due to notice periods etc).
- If there are any short periods of work, write the reason for this, for example redundancy/contract. Employers will make preconceived judgements otherwise. Most employers are sceptical when it comes to short periods of tenure so make sure it’s clear.
- Controversially, leave in your age (whether you are young or more mature, it is not difficult to decipher a candidate’s approximate age from the work history), Some employers unfortunately will make age discriminating decisions, this is just how it is whether it’s wrong, against the law or not! If you are going to be discriminated against you are unlikely to want to work for that employer anyway.
- Leave in marital status (and children), address, contact numbers and email addresses, availability, what you like to do out of work (hobbies), but keep them short.
- Leave out aspirations, expectations, salary details etc. This will be discussed in good time. (Remember this is a sales document so concentrate on communicating “what’s in it for them”).
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