24. 02. 2017

Who's reading your CV?

A blank document in front of you and a CV to write – painful isn’t it?

  • Firstly, recruiters, that’s people like me, will make a snap judgment based on what they see on a word document. Sad, but true

  • Secondly, that CV needs to get past the recruitment team or HR, who, in large organisations, see hundreds of CVs every day and are usually tasked on ensuring every job spec criteria is matched before sending a CV to the hiring manager

  • Thirdly, your CV goes to a hiring manager, and if you are lucky, to your hiring manager’s manager 

How to write a CV that goes the distance

Read your CV back to yourself and be honest: does this reflect me, what I do, what I’m good at, and most importantly, your achievements. The paper round you had when you were 14 is unlikely to get you a CIO job, don’t include it. I am sure you will be proud of your very 1st job but is that job the job you want now? No? Then list it at the back without pages of detail.

Make a profile. This is so important for so many reasons, but the main one is that your CV will be put in front of people who don’t know you. They might not phone you about a job as they may assume from something in your CV that you wouldn’t be interested. Tell people who you are, what you do and what you are looking for; nothing as basic as “works well in a team and individually”, but tell people why you are good.

  • Name at the top with your phone number and email address, you would be surprised how many people don’t bother and that can make it incredibly hard to reach out to you.

  • Your profile should come next

  • Then straight into your career summary. Include dates, job title. No Gaps, if you went trekking across the Himalayas then say.

  • In your job summary, list responsibilities and achievements separately and be concise.

  • Repeat for every role that you feel is relevant to your current search. Once you get to a point where you don’t think the role is relevant, just list out in summary

  • At the end, list the systems and software you use in detail.

The thing to remember is that everyone has their own idea of how a CV should look and feel, so you won’t please everyone. But if you can make it as readable as possible then you stand a better chance.

Your CV will be one of the most important documents you ever create, so spend time on it and get it right.

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