New Year, New Start, New Job…..Writing A Winning CV
People spend hours upon hours, trying to format their CV, in the hope to land their dream job.
However, it can be said that the process of going through CV’s has been ‘Tinderised’, with research showing that only 8.8 seconds is spent studying any one person’s curriculum vitae.
You’re probably thinking, how does anyone get a chance in securing a job if so little time is spent?
I know you have probably heard this a million times, but you really need to make your CV stand out from the crowd. Your CV needs to have the WOW factor, which carries it away from the ‘Unfortunately’ pile to the ‘Invite to Interview’ pile. Below, we will show you how you can turn a daunting situation, into a favourable one.
Think of Yourself as the Employer
Any company that you hope to work for, in order for them to consider you good enough to be hired, they need to know from the offset what benefits you will bring to the role. They need to see that you have the skills, qualities, abilities and efficiencies – that you are an asset to their organisation, rather than a liability.
Just imagine if you were an employer, what would you like the candidates who apply for your jobs to possess? You want to see that they have a number of exciting benefits, which they can support with relevant and current examples to back it all up.
Begin to think about what you have contributed in your current role.
Have you saved the company money? Have you had an innovative idea which resulted in a change to how things had always been done in the company? Have you increased business development for the company? Increased social media presence? What did you do really well and why are you so proud of it?
Once you have listed the impact you have made to the company, you need to have some powerful bullet points which demonstrate this. Provide examples, examples and more examples.
Mention what the company was like before you joined, to emphasise to your potential Employer the changes you affected. For example, when you started your role, you focused on social media by writing a number of blogs, which resulted in an increase in Twitter followers, Facebook likes and more clicks to your company website. This is also the perfect time to add figures, if you have them to hand.
Personal Profile!!!! Make Yours Special
A profile is a short introduction to your CV. Your profile must be lively and succinct. Your Profile is the written equivalent of an ‘elevator pitch’ designed to capture the employer’s interest quickly, so that they will read your CV in full and invite you to interview. Highlight your USP (Unique Selling Point) in relation to the job e.g. experience, interests, qualifications or passions. Refrain from using the cliché, vague and generic adjectives, as 400+ CV’s before yours, probably all contain the same thing.
For example, a profile for an Assistant Store Manager, applying for a job to be a Retail Area Beauty Manager could be:
“An absolutely phenomenal beauty manager who has built a beautiful career through Benefit, Chanel, Jo Malone and currently Victoria Secret. Hugely people focused and feel this is the key to a successful account/store. Thrives in training and had successfully gained the title of area trainer for all new managers within Chanel whilst also successfully opening 2 of their largest accounts and then ultimately being placed in the country’s flagship (House of Fraser Oxford Street) successfully pulling back a -41% deficit and ending the year +7%. Has experienced standalone environment as an assistant manager and is clearly ready for the next step as Area / Flagship Business Manager.”
Don’t have a Cake without Icing
When we talk about your CV standing out and having the wow factor, that’s not to say your CV needs to be presented in fancy unreadable fonts, or so technical, that it can’t even be opened up to be read. No. You need to be able to provide extra tasty information, which tells your prospe
- Show you can spot trends in your particular industry and have opinions in your area of expertise
- Add a LinkedIn Profile. This is a great way to show how well connected you are, if you are a good networker, the skills you have, group activity or forums you’re associated with, blogposts you’ve made and where you have been recommended
- Add your Portfolio. If you have a Portfolio, either in PDF format, a website, a Tumblr account, a YouTube channel etc. anything which shows off your creative flair, always attach that information. This demonstrates that you have a genuine passion for what you do
The following points are key CV basics that are critical to how far your CV will go.
- Keep your CV to a maximum of two pages. Yes you can include all the relevant information needed.
- Your CV needs to be readable. Too many words is likely to put anyone off. Make sure there is plenty of white space around the text, but not too bare, so it doesn’t seem as if you aren’t up to par
- Use headers to structure clearly and bullet points to organise
- Check your spelling and grammar over and over and over again. If in doubt, ask someone else to read it over for you.
Having a CV which stands out will not only give you confidence, but you will be even more determined to get that dream role. You will have great pride in what you have achieved and all you have to wait for are those interviews to start rolling through.
Happy New Year and Make 2016 Count.
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