When it comes to applying for jobs, a good CV is your golden ticket. It opens doors, and it gets you in front of hiring managers. But to do so, it has to be well constructed, designed with a purpose, and compelling, too.
Gone are the days when a CV was simply a list of past jobs and accomplishments. Now, it’s a calling card, a piece of branding that communicates who you are. Let’s look at 5 things to think about when writing a CV…
1. Your Story
This is perhaps the most important aspect of your CV: your story. When writing your CV, think about how each part ties together to create a story that people can buy into. You want each job to clearly show progression forwards, and each piece of information needs to lead on from the preceding paragraph. This creates a piece of writing that hiring managers actually want to read. Your story matters, it’s what makes you unique. Make sure your CV captures it well.
2. The Basics
Once you have an idea of your story and how you want to tell it, make sure you read over your CV carefully. A misplaced word or a typo will make you look sloppy and unprofessional. Neither of these are good impressions to give a potential employer. Fortunately there are some great free online tools you can use to ensure you write flawlessly. Grammarly is an excellent option for spelling, and you guessed it, grammar. The Hemmingway App is useful for analysing your writing for clarity.
3. Your Purpose
In most cases, it’s worth tailoring, or even completely rewriting your CV, with whatever job you’re applying for in mind. Your CV should always be written with a purpose and that purpose should match up with the job you’re applying for. Your CV must be designed with the job description in mind and you need to clearly show how your skills and accomplishments will benefit a potential employer. Don’t leave them guessing! This also shows a potential employer that you’ve done your research, too.
4. Contact Information
This seems self explanatory, but including as much contact information as possible can make a big difference. This includes your LinkedIn page, any social sites that you use professionally, your mobile number, your personal/company website… the list goes on. But the more information you provide here, the higher the chance of a prospective employer looking you up. Just make sure everything is ship shape before you send them off to look over your online presence!
5. Your Work History
Obviously your CV will detail your work history, but it’s important to dig a little deeper than simply an overview of the company you worked for. What did you do there? What skills did you learn? What projects did you implement or work on? Make sure that the examples you pick are relevant to the job you’re applying for, and use each job to show why you’d be an excellent choice for the role in question.
The role of the CV is to get you as far as the interview — after that you are selling yourself in person. If your CV isn’t getting you invited to interview, perhaps it needs a rethink. B2E Consulting offers a free invitation to a webinar based workshop where CVs are peer reviewed for content, style and impact — contact Hugh Abbott on 07917 322 808 or firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.