Getting your CV in tip/top shape is a key element to the success of your job search, we thought we would share our tips to getting your CV into its best shape. Your CV is a sales document, so sell yourself. If you can’t do this, no one else can – “you know you” best!
How your CV reads:
An acceptable CV can be 3-4 pages. It is not the length but what it contains, the context in which it’s delivered, and the appropriate placement of information (make it easy for the reader)
Table your full career on page one (it shows a lot of stuff including – role progression, promotion within, tenure, sector experience etc). If another candidate could have written this CV, think again. It needs to be specific to you, your experience and your outcomes – ie. make it your own!
Page two is ideal to use as a sales pitch page – outline Career Highlights or Achievements (use ‘action orientated wording – created, identified, initiated, partook, awarded, systemised, automated, developed etc etc…) Eg. Developed new online portal for tracking document receipt, due to multiple complaints highlighting poor responsiveness. This resulted in an initial 30% drop in complaints, and due to the follow up process included, saw an 82% reduction in complaints within four months of implementation.
Remember, this page is your sales pitch
Following this – page 3 only, highlight your role specifics for the last 5-7 years, or 2-3 positions, whichever is the greater. You don’t need the detail back any further, unless there is a completely different set of skills/responsibilities to cover. Whatever you have done in the most recent few years, should supersede what you have done prior. What you have done in the last few years, is also generally most aligned to what you will do next, and what you are applying for.
Achievements should include #’s, figures, %’s etc. They are factual, about you, and from a reader perspective, draws the eye.
Don’t use subjective statements eg. Strong relationship building and business development skills (says who?); Excellent people manager (says who?); Strategic thinker (says who?); Multi-channel sales capability (what channels, how many and where?. Use these examples (which most resumes will have) and flesh them out with examples and outcomes.
Don't talk about the “how” – that is where waffle will kick in. The CV is to intrigue and excite the reader, and they will want to know more – save the “how”, if needed, for interview.
Don’t blur what you were employed to do in a role ie. Role responsibilities, versus achievements – it’s a common mistake. Your responsibilities are the job you were employed to do – the JD tasks in essence. No one can foresee what you will achieve in the role when they employ you, so don’t put them here. Keep them for the achievements/highlights on page 2.
Don’t have someone else write your CV – you need to own it, and be able to talk to it confidently at interview (get guidance and help, but compile it yourself). One never knows who the reader is, or who your CV might be handed to, so never assume what should or shouldn’t be included. (what you leave out can be a bigger risk, than what you put in)
A CV is a career overview