Simple steps to writing a CV!
When being interviewed for that dream job, think about the people reading your CV. They are not mind-readers in understanding what you have achieved and what value you may add to their business. People interviewing you need your help to convince them on who you are and why you are perfect for the role and they will want to know if you will complement their culture, their people, their company goals and values!
I get asked every day if I can write CV’s for people – I say “NO!” I will work with you and unravel your knowledge about you and coach you on how to tell your story with impact, confidence and get results! Today, I will give some tips on writing a CV. I hope the below will help you to think a little more about what you write in the future. So please don’t put the CV in a drawer – get to know yourself again!
Tips On Writing Your CV
First Step – Write Your Own CV!
Have Fun! It’s All about YOU!
Who knows you better than you? Who understands you better than you? Who has lived this story and can tell it with passion, feeling and give evidence around the facts? Who can be challenged on the spot and have the answers to questions raised about you? YOU!
Your CV is not just a document with your career history – it is your story! Don’t put it in the drawer! This is your success! It’s your Journey and your credibility! Why hand that over to someone else to assume they understand you and struggle to capture all the wonderful skills and talent you posses and of which you have lived and breath it every day? Why put your future in the hands of someone else to write your CV who doesn’t even know you, or probably doesn’t really care?
Get yourself in the right mindset to write about you and enjoy recollecting all the amazing things you have achieved.
Responsbilities – So What!
People are quick to write all about what they have been/are responsible for i.e.” I manage 30 people and am responsible for generating new revenue.” Nice and well done but … so what? Sorry if this upsets you! What does that prove? Were you successful and what did you achieve by managing those people? What did they achieve because of what you did to help them grow/develop?
Keep your responsibilities brief, top level, focused and measured – it is the evidence people want.
Achievements – The Evidence
Be proud and loud and let people know about those achievement. Relate some of those achievements to the role you want. Always remember that future employers need that help to understand what drives you and what you have done in achieving your success. Think about the difference you have made in the roles you have been doing and what that measure of success is!
Always ask yourself at the end of each achievement – “so what?”. It is here you can make this more effective and measured – it does take a little practice so keep going with this.
Standing On The Stage For Success
If you had all the people in the room whom you wanted to interview you and give you the job of your dreams, a place where you had one chance of a life time to get the role, what would you say about yourself? Why would they want you?
Everyone should have a summary of themselves at the top of the CV as this is your stage. Most times you will get hired on this alone and the rest is evidence.
This is where you speak about you and your brand and what you are renowned for.
This is the part which should flow easily and truly makes your brand of YOU stand out.
Tip – capture your achievements first then your Summary will flow easier when you go back to it.
Step Into The Role Of The Person You Want To Be Hired For
When you look at your CV what language do you use when you write? Are you wanting a board role and does your CV reflect the language of that role i.e. Return on Investment etc? OR are you still speaking the language of the person you may have been many years ago? Are you too generic and fluffy in your explanation of you? I have seen thousands of CVs’ and trust me – they have been interesting!
“I am a good person who people like”.
“I get my team together every week and we discuss topics such as ‘how to be better at our Jobs'”.
“My boss likes me because I am friendly and he always asks me to do the work as I deliver”.
See what I mean! Poor in it’s language and not measurable in any way!
Think of the language of the person, the role, the responsibilities that this new role will have then take a look at what and how you are relaying in your CV, your language and your impact (or lack of it).
The One or Two Page Dilemma
“How many pages do I write?”
Question for you – how many would you want to read?
Two is the traditional but don’t worry if it goes over to three. Certain CV layouts will ask for more information than others. What is important is the content.
I once had someone who sent me 15 pages of a CV – a well-known and high-level executive. Not a good idea to write that many pages as people will most definitely switch off!
Words To Use
As search engines will look for words i.e. Software Engineer, Level 1, Prince Qualifications etc ensure you have those listed. Look up the job requirements before you send in your details.
How Far Back In My Career History Should I Go?
Your history is important – it is a part of you! Everything you have done is important – don’t forget that!
Keep the roles prior to the last 10 – 15 years just headlined with company, dates you worked for them and the role you had whilst there (and always be ready to talk about those achievements within those roles as part of your story).
Example – someone going for a customer service role who has been in sales for over 10 years.
Would they only speak of the role of the last 10 years? Maybe they could “wow” the person interviewing them by adding such things as “15 years ago I was recruited as the youngest person to head up customer service for…. In that time, I reported 120% improvement on customer service satisfaction and developed a new route to market, which has resulted in…….” Get the idea? Don’t throw it away!
Know Your Own Story
Once you have your CV done keep reading it, challenging it and feel your story. This is your life, tell it with passion and with the reasons and evidence of why you should have the role you are applying for. Don’t throw away key things because it was long ago. Keep re-introducing you to yourself!
Tell your story and know your story and see how it flows with ease, confidence and engages others.
Working alongside thousands of people over the years, I have had the pleasure of seeing the transformation in people’s eyes when they begin to tell their story and by the end of our sessions they step into a new impacting story. Everything that comes to light for them is around there own awareness, their own success, their own unravelling, their truth, their story! The impact in confidence in who they are and what they have done all just floods out. I just love my job!
If I can help you any further and coach you to unravel those skills and achievements, just email me firstname.lastname@example.org