Your CV is your opportunity to showcase your personal brand and tell your unique career story. A good story captures the reader’s attention and makes them want to find out more. Studies indicate that recruiters spend an average of six seconds reviewing a CV to find out if it is worth reading further. So how do you make your story grab their attention and want to know more about you?
1. Tailor your CV to the role you are applying for.
You can do this by starting your CV with a clear and concise professional summary highlighting your experience. Jobs are advertised because the organisation has a problem they are looking to solve. Therefore, you should highlight your skills and experience in a way that demonstrates that you can solve the organisation's problem, making the recruiter want to read your CV further.
For example, the company has grown and needs an HR Manager to implement policies and procedures and create a performance management framework.
A good example of a professional summary for a candidate applying for the HR Manager role might start like this:
"Influential HR Manager, offering ten years' experience, in the manufacturing industry, implementing workplace policies and procedures and supporting managers to create effective performance management systems".
2. When it comes to your Career History, avoid writing a lengthy job description listing every task you’ve done.
Instead, under each role you’ve held in your CV, write a sentence giving the recruiter a concise overview of what you were primarily hired to do. This leaves you with more space to focus on your achievements and enables the recruiter to quickly understand your past experience without having to scroll through a list of generic tasks.
For example, a Sales Manager’s position purpose may look something like this:
“To lead and develop a team of six Account Managers helping them to achieve their targets, in conjunction with developing sales strategies and objectives to capitalise on customer-focused growth and improvement opportunities”.
3. Focus on the value you brought to each role via your achievements.
Your achievements set you apart from the other candidates and allow the recruiter to see the value you can bring to the new role. By precisely outlining what you have achieved in your previous roles, you can avoid over-used terms in your CV such as team-player, efficient, works well independently etc. These phrases don’t mean much to the recruiter and don’t say anything about your unique story.
To outline your achievements, start each achievement with an action word, then highlight the task you performed, and describe the outcome from completing that task. Where possible, back up your examples with measurable results (i.e., numbers) to give more weight to your achievements.
For example, an achievement for a Marketing Manager might look like this:
“Improved brand awareness by leveraging email and social campaign strategies with target markets, resulting in a 15% increase in sales year-to-date”.
4. Finally, make sure you proofread your work
A recruiter isn’t going to think much of your attention to detail, if your CV is riddled with spelling and grammatical errors. Before you submit your application, ensure you double-check your work to pick up any errors and check for clarity and meaning.
If you would like help with revamping your CV, contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org to find out more about how I can help you tell your unique career story.