What is a CV? A guide to writing a persuasive and powerful CV.
Part 1 – How to transform your CV from a document describing your work history to a powerful and persuasive selling tool!
This weekend I ran a free employment workshop in my local community centre for individuals who were out of work and struggling to get a job. The turnout was excellent and the feedback from everyone was really positive with everyone saying they really benefited from it massively. Hopefully it will help them some way towards finding employment but something that really stuck with me from the session was their perception of what a CV is.
Most people told me a CV was a summary of their background and overview of their job duties and it was used to apply for work which is right but I suggested looking at it differently and I will share this wisdom with you.
Are you underselling yourself?
A CV is representation of you before the employer or recruiter meets you!
Have a think of what sort of impression you want to give? Consider your layout, your formatting and branding. Consider the words you use and the statements you make. Here is a simple example of what I mean:
Job duties included:
- I would add the cherry on top of a Cherry Bakewell cake
- I worked in a team
- I would sometimes train new people
If a CV is a representation of you before the employer meets you, well what impression does the choice of words, structural layout of the statement and description give about you? How about this revamped version below?
Job duties included:
- Complete responsibility for the final decoration and quality check of a market leading brand of cakes
- I was a key member of a high performing team that always surpassed production targets
- My knowledge, expertise and exceptional communication skills were used to train and mentor new starters
A CV is a chance to sell yourself, a chance for you to demonstrate what value you can bring and how you can benefit them. Make the reader desire to want to meet you and let it make you stand out. If two colleagues from the same factory with identical backgrounds applied for a job and candidate A had the first description and candidate B had the second description, who do you think will be called for an interview?
Candidate A really undersells their achievements and experience while the Candidate B adds more detail to boost their profile. Candidate B not only does a better job of selling themselves but the ability to write in a convincing and competent manner demonstrates abilities outside of the duties describes.
Keep watching this blog for more powerful tips on recruitment.
Mo is the divisional manager of Yolk IT Recruitment and has over five years experience placing permanent IT professionals. Mo also runs several workshops and community schemes helping the young and unemployed gain the skills needed to successfully find work. @rmoyolkrec Google+