We’ve talked about CVs a few times on this blog, and even recorded a video about them, so why are we writing another one? Because getting your CV right is that important. You could be perfect for the role you are applying for but unless your CV sells your skills and experience effectively then you won’t even get a look in.
The CV is a sales tool so you need points on your CV that sell, without this your CV is just a series of short job descriptions and we all know how exciting job descriptions are! Any good sales document is full of statements convincing the reader that this product will add the most value to their lives and your CV needs to be written with this in mind.
So how do you write a CV that sells you? Well, you’ve got to get squirmy.
Grab pen and paper, get yourself a bottle of wine, put some good music on, get comfortable and start writing down every achievement you can think of. Doesn’t matter if it is winning sports day when you were 7 or achieving 183% of your target last year, write it all down, get the juices flowing. Quantifiable achievements (£, %, time) have even more impact, so try to remember the details.
Once you think you have a full and complete list, identify the 10 most relevant successes to the job you want and add them in to your CV by each applicable role.
At this point you might be feeling a little uncomfortable, a little squirmy, worried that your CV makes you sound arrogant? Perfect! That’s the CV I want to see.
In my 14 years of recruitment I don’t remember seeing a single CV that has made me think “wow, this person sounds big-headed”, instead I think “wow, this person sounds great! I need to meet them!”
Remember that you will probably be required to talk through your achievements in an interview so make sure you remind yourself about the context of the achievement (what, how and why), so that you talk about them with confidence.
Don’t worry if you can’t think of any achievements the first-time around, sleep on it and give yourself some time to think and when you start to remember make sure you write them down as soon as you can. Most importantly, take your time and be prepared to tweak and develop your CV as you go.