The labour market has become increasingly competitive. Here are some CV building tips to help improve your chances of getting an interview.
Start with the basics
Ask yourself questions that will shape your job hunting
• What am I good at?
• What do I really enjoy doing?
Whilst these questions sound very basic and theoretical, they are the fundamentals of the next step.
Define your skills
Be clear on your “value proposition” – why an employer would want to recruit you – before you create your CV. Ask yourself:
• What are my core skills (i.e. managing teams, being creative, delivery…etc.)?
• How have I utilised these skills in the past?
• How transferable are these core skills?
• What skills can I bring to a future employer, which will add value to their business?
You will notice that I have not made reference to industry specifics. The reason for this is that in any change of career, it is the core skills you need to focus on. These are your true ‘value adds.’
Structure your CV
A CV is not merely a chronological list of employment
• Your curriculum vita is not an autobiography.
• Make a CV relevant for the application. Have an adaptable CV to amplify your appropriate core skills to the role.
• It is a ‘value proposal’ to demonstrate how you can add value to the employer.
• Seek out advice and be prepared to take critique (don’t be protective) – your CV is a ‘means to an end’.
• Never add anything in a CV that you are not prepared to demonstrate or elaborate on.
• Stick to the facts – not opinions.
• Include testimonials on your CV. This is particularly relevant in candidates, such as described earlier, who have come from a management environment where delivery was key.
A CV has one purpose in its lifetime – to achieve an interview.
Focus on the positives
Approach each opportunity as though it were your first
It is easy to become caught up in the ‘negative spiral’ of a job seeker, especially the longer the search goes on to secure your ideal role. This will not enhance your chances of obtaining your next role. Stay focused on your abilities:
• What have been your major career accomplishments?
• What were the ultimate ‘outcomes’
• How did you achieve these accomplishments?
• Is the core activity replicable?
• What challenges did you overcome along the way?
• Which of your core skills were utilised?
Don’t forget to obtain testimonials / references to validate these achievements.
Listen to others. Very importantly – when job hunting be prepared to take advice, don’t be defensive, remain positive and make yourself available for opportunities by being proactive.