Tell your story.

During the latter part of 2015 I found myself offering quite a bit of CV advice to friends and work colleagues. At times related to organisational change but more frequently and on a personal level, it was because people don’t really know what a good CV looks like until it is challenged.

I’m often asked to critique CVs that are extremely general. There are two ways to instantly improve a CV that tries to cover all the bases. The first, and one of the most important things any applicant can do, is create a CV that’s individual to each job. The second is making sure you adapt your cover letter accordingly.

Taking this approach shows you have taken the time and effort to emphasise what the recruiter or company is looking for. Whether you are applying for a permanent or temporary vacancy, freelance role or putting forward a proposition for your services – it tells your story.

The Importance of Evidence-Based Experience

Once you’ve got your tailored CV, now you need to provide as much evidence of your experience in action as possible. Every year it’s becoming more important. 2015 saw trends such as Blind CV Equality Initiative emerging supported by David Cameron and also launched by Deloitte in their efforts to access a more diverse pool of talent and improve the investment in, and development of, young people across the UK.

Blind CV hiring is where details like name, address and education are being hidden. Therefore evidence-based experience is becoming more relevant to writing a CV and effective in recruiting the best individual for the role.

Keep It Engaging

It goes without saying, writing the perfect CV your first page has to be the most engaging. The contents of your CV should also play to search engine optimisation (without suffocating it with jargon!).

Keep the language simple (preferably in bullet point format) and flowing. Suggested headers for your first page:

  • Personal profile
  • Key achievements – evidence based
  • Key knowledge areas – don’t forget to include relevant regulatory provisions
  • Skills – whether currently used or not

From here you can then flow into your work history, education and any hobbies or interests you may feel are worth mentioning. But make sure not to waffle!

If you’re ready for your next move in 2016 make sure your CV sells your personal brand and tells your story.

Good luck.

One of the most important things any applicant can do, is create a CV that’s individual to each job.