As a recruiter, I’ve seen thousands of CVs ranging from expertly written to those full of inaccuracies. Each time I review a CV I’m trying to get a mental picture of the candidate, their experience, and their potential fit for the role I am recruiting for. Ultimately, I am going to decide on whether that CV hits the YES or the NO pile.
Research has shown that a typical hiring manager or recruiter will only look at a CV for approximately 7 seconds. I’m looking for a CV that stands out, is unique, and demonstrates how the candidate will add value to the role and company. Here are my three key steps to create that winning CV:
This is your professional identity and perhaps the most important element that most CVs fail to develop. You can establish your brand and increase your marketing collateral by ensuring that your CV is concise, clearly identifying your professional traits and demonstrating how you will fit into the position and the company culture. It needs to be captivating, grammatically perfect and free of any spelling errors.
It needs to flow, be easy to read and packed with rich content organised in a format which screams “HIRE ME!”
Succeed here and your CV makes the YES pile, fail here and your CV will simply be filed away.
Whatever you do, do not copy someone else’s CV. Write your own, get expert help if you don’t know where to start. The more unique your CV is, the higher the chances of making the YES pile.
An effective profile summary is key as it’s the first element read by a recruiter. It should be brief, encapsulating your background while highlighting your key capabilities and accomplishments.
Always tailor your profile summary to fit the position, in fact you should tailor your CV for every role.
What will this candidate bring to the role? How can this candidate make a difference? What value can this candidate add to the team?
These are the first questions hiring managers or recruiters ask themselves when reading CVs. Remember this is why they are recruiting in the first place. You can demonstrate your value by using evidence in facts & figures. For example, describe how you helped a company increase revenue, lower cost and increase productivity. Don’t be afraid to use numbers even if they are not exact.
Maximising your brand helps to you to identify and sell your professional skills. You have one chance to make a standout first impression and believe me, first impressions are everything.
Differentiating yourself gives you a competitive advantage so review your profile summary to make it punchy & unique.
Finally, quantify your successes and show recruiters how you can contribute to the company’s bottom-line.
Review your CV today considering these three essential elements and you’ll start to see results. In fact, you should brush up on your interview skills because you’ll be getting more of them!