Updated: Jun 4, 2019
The importance of creating a great CV is difficult to put into words. It is vital that you build an authentic CV that says "this is what you get when you hire me". Only then will you land the job that you're capable of, bringing you the career fulfilment that you deserve!
Whatever level you are at, from graduates to senior executives, to parents returning to work or ex-forces – the CV theory remains the same.
Most people think CVs are a historical document, a record of your experience to date. Let me assure you – they are not. Your CV is a chance for you to say, "I’m perfect for your job".
Creating a great CV also lets you step back and reflect on your achievements and what you want. It helps you understand which facets of work you have enjoyed the most, and thus what job you should do next.
So how do you build a great CV that authentically showcases your strengths and experience? I’m going to tell you how.
5 steps to writing the perfect CV
1.) Find a job you want
As discussed, a CV is a chance to highlight your relevant skills for the job you are applying for. This job should be an 8/9 out of 10 in terms of your interest. It should match your strengths and sound fulfilling to you.
2.) Analyse the job specification
The job specification will include around 10 skills that you need to be suitable for the role.
The clues are all written in the job spec. Cast your mind back to school when teachers would say to you "read the question" – this is a similar situation!
You can therefore create a list of skills they want. The list will vary for each job, but it will look something like this:
- Excellent Communication skills, ability to work well with others.
- Organisational skills, able to work on several tasks simultaneously and prioritise workloads.
- Analytical ability, must be able to problem solve and analyse data to create solutions.
- And so on….
3.) STAR examples for each skill
Take your list of skills required and reflect on your experience to date. Across your studies/work experience/years in employment – how can you prove that you are a great communicator? How can you prove your analytical problem solving skills? Etc etc.
You are looking for real, authentic examples, which show an end product, bringing a tangible result to the company (or the society, charity etc…).
These STAR examples can then be used in your CV to prove your ability. Set those STAR examples aside, they will be useful for your cover letters and at interviews.
4.) Writing style
Use your STAR examples in your CV, to enhance the experience. Use short punchy language - this isn’t an essay. You will want to elaborate on your examples at interview – so keep it short for now. You want to entice the hiring manager into bringing you in for an interview to learn more about you.
5.) Extra CV tips
Two pages at most. Some people prefer a one pager, I myself think two pages works better.
Use figures when possible, they jump out at the reader.
Talk about what YOU personally did and what IMPACT did it have on the company/team performance.
Bullet points are easier to read than paragraphs.
The ‘look’ is important - make it stand out to the reader.
Tenses - use past tense for previous jobs, present tense works for your current role.
If you are reading this far then you are a driven person, hungry for success and looking to have an enjoyable and fulfilling career.
We offer CV writing services to communicate the best version of you on paper.
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