There is no way around it; your CV is a sales document. Instead of the title “Curriculum Vitae” or “CV” appearing at the top, you need to think in terms of “This is Why You Need to Hire Me” and determine how it should appear. There is no point in just building a list of previous duties and individual responsibilities; you will never get hired on only the things you have done. You will be hired due to what you managed to achieve within those responsibilities and duties, and how you can use them as he foundation for future success and deliver in your next job.
Your entire CV should be your battle cry; your “Just See Me” moment. It may be an invitation to an open door; the thing gets you an interview, but when you are in front of a hiring manager, your CV needs the strength to stand on its own. Written appropriately, it can set the tone for any interview, manage expectations and allow you to focus on your strengths.
When you build your CV, it is important to keep these four questions in mind:
What are my greatest accomplishments?
Completely forget the CV format for a moment; just grab your phablet and take fifteen minutes to think of five or six accomplishments in the last year that have meant something to you. These can be achievements that bettered the community, forced you to try something new and unexpected, changed internal procedures at your employer or achievements that taught you how to manage people. No matter the accomplishments you choose, they need to be measurable triumphs that will give anyone reading your CV an idea as to how you will be able to effectively accomplish goals.
Is there anywhere I have added value and made a difference?
Too many people draft a CV that reflects a list of duties and responsibilities that look like they have been pulled from the job description and pasted into the CV. The document needs to be brought to life; it needs meaning and substance, so that it allows anyone reading it to see what you have done that has really made a difference where you work. This does not mean it needs be a shift of tectonic plates; it can be something that added efficiency to a process that was already in place.
How are your skills and experience a good match for the objective?
Do you feel the skills and experience you currently possess match the posted job description? Do you possess the skills and experience necessary to take-on the job? Job descriptions are lengthy and in-depth, but you do not want to go into too much detail answering this question. The best strategy is for a job applicant to select a handful of areas in which the match is good and briefly expand on each in turn, explaining why you are a good match for the employer’s needs.
What matters most to me about my current job?
Most candidates will list their biggest duty under their current job title, typically regarding management of people or a major project. Whatever makes the top of the list is often an achievement you find great satisfaction in, but you need to determine if it is relevant to the new role you want. There is no point in listing client retention as your major responsibility if you are not applying for a role with direct client contact and management.
Do your social media profiles match the information on your CV?
Remember back in 2010, when all a job seeker needed was a CV, cover letter and a business card of some type? It used to be fairly simple to keep track of what you had written and to whom it was sent. Now it is becoming normal to create multiple online profiles for yourself through social media. A potential employer then has the chance to look for you on platforms like Twitter, in addition to a standard CV. While this gives you a lot of extra exposure, it also leaves the door open for making errors. You need to take care that anything you write about yourself remains similar across the platforms.
- Use your name in a consistent way.
- If you use different photos, make sure that each photo resembles the other.
- Show consistency with titles and dates of employment.
- Do not vary your info about key achievements or skills from one profile to another.
Why do I need to read this CV?
The last question is not for the person looking for a job, but the person who is reading the accomplishments and skills detailed in the CV. They have an open position to fill, and your CV has hit their desk, whether from your hand or another party. Why should they read it? How do your skills fit what they want? If they need to search for the clues and puzzle it out, then the chances are good that they will move on to the next CV in their email in-box.