CV’s whether in traditional paper format, or through the more modern LinkedIn profile type are only as good as the information contained in them. Sounds obvious doesn’t it – but what is important is that the information is kept right up to date and is entirely current.
How many people have a CV which they haven’t re-visited for the last 5 years, or a Linkedin profile which they haven’t touched since they first joined?
For either, keeping the information up to date is really important, and not difficult to do. The hardest thing is pitching them the right way in the first place, in a way that does the most justice to you and what you have to offer – so here are a few things for you to consider.
Your personal summary – highlight your skills, your achievements and your experience
These are the things which will really help you to stand out from the crowd and help a potential employer to notice you above those competing with you for a particular role. They can be included in a stand-alone section at the top of your CV – it can be called a ‘personal summary’ or ‘career profile’ – it’s a statement about you designed to catch a potential employer’s attention right from the start. Our Pace Resourcing CV templates available to download from our website all include a section for this information.
They are the things which you are qualified in, things you have achieved and should therefore have top billing. They are factual and their importance should not be underestimated. Some suggestions to include are:
- Talk about specific skills which help you to do your job and which will help you to do the job which you are applying for
- Talk about what you have achieved in your current and previous roles – specific, tangible, measurable achievements which demonstrate direct results
- Talk about your experience and how the benefit of it helps you to do your job, manage people, deliver results…..
Are you a team player?
If you consider that one of your main strengths is as a team player show how you have performed well as a part of a team and support this with an example of where you done so. What results can you point to? What have you delivered?
Do you work better as an individual?
Don’t claim to be a team player if you are not. If you perform better individually then highlight this as a strength and support it with an example of what you have delivered by working this way.
Are you a good communicator?
If you are a particularly good communicator, then state this clearly and reinforce with examples of what you have done/how you do it. Show how your ability to communicate helps you in your job and how it has delivered results previously.
Is customer service a key strength of yours?
Customer service is critical to many businesses. If this is something you excel at then make sure you demonstrate what you have achieved and how you achieved it. Show results in terms of improved sales or customer satisfaction.
Do you have responsibility in your current role?
It is not enough to say you have responsibility in your current role, tell your prospective employer how you use it to improve team performance, company performance, increase sales or productivity. Provide examples.
Training and Education
Make sure that training is listed on your CV in order of relevance to the jobs you are doing or are looking to do. As you get further into your career your educational achievements become less important unless they are very specifically related to the job you are doing.
With IT being so important in today’s world, make a point of stating that you are IT literate and can use programmes X, Y and Z and that you are comfortable using email and mobile devices if you are capable of doing so. Don’t assume that employers think you are IT literate, it is not a given, and having these skills can help you to win out against other people applying for the same roles as yourself.
Some phrases to avoid on your CV
‘I am a good multi-tasker’
‘I am a good team player but equally capable of working on my own’
‘I am very much a people person’
Some subjects you no longer need to include on your CV
Your marital status
Your religious beliefs
Make it easy for a potential employer to contact you
In the mobile 24/7 world in which we live today always give a potential employer the best opportunity to make contact with you.
Include the best phone numbers, email addresses, and digital platform contact details for them to be able to contact you on. Make it obvious to them that you are ‘open for business’ and will take their call at any time.
When you have written your CV read it and ask yourself ‘If I was reading this for the first time would it convince me to invite myself for an interview? I am getting my strengths and my personality across to the reader? Is it the best reflection of me and my skills?’ If the answer is yes then send it on, if it is no, then spend the time to get it to where it needs to be.
Your CV is critical to your chances of getting an interview – don’t look and back and wonder ‘if only…’