How to write a powerful and persuasive CV part 2
In Part One, we covered the basics of writing a CV to emphasis your skills and experience. In this part we’re going to focus on your selling your greatest achievements.
In my opinion the best way to securing an interview is through differentiating yourself through your greatest achievements. This is something a lot of people struggle with as they don’t view what they do in work as extraordinary or special. Here’s a story to emphasis what I mean.
A few months back one of my neighbours found themselves being made redundant after nine years of working at the same company. Being the good neighbour I am I offered my services helping him with his job search. The first thing we did was look at his CV. He had already made a good start, he had all his work experience set out, his education was relevant and he had a good personal statement but he didn’t have any achievements.
When I asked him what was his greatest achievement was in his last company he looked at me quite blankly. He didn’t feel that he had any notable achievements and that he had spent the last nine years simply going to work, doing his job to the best of his abilities and coming home; I told him that was an achievement in itself. I pushed a little further and said what made you stand out from your colleagues again he looked at me blankly but I kept pushing. Eventually he told me that he had received an award for time keeping but he didn’t see the value of it but I did. I told him that this showed that he was hard working, committed, dedicated, trust worthy and reliable which are all characteristics any employee desires.
The point I’m trying to make is that you can focus all your energy on making sure your CV is laid out correctly, that there’s no spelling or grammatical errors but unless you actually dig deeper and think about the content of your CV, your unique selling point then it won’t matter.
If you’re one of these people, like my neighbour, that doesn’t recognise their own achievements and think the exceptional things they do is just standard then your underselling yourself. An approach that you might find useful is to think of yourself as a product, a PC or something similar. Consider what features you have that other’s don’t. You might be a compact laptop that makes you agile and good moving across projects or you might be desktop PC with multiple processors making you perfect for crunching big numbers. We all have our own unique features and achievements that make us suited for that role we’ve just got to recognise them.
Thanks for reading part two of five of my ‘Writing a persuasive and powerful CV’ web series. We will be releasing some podcasts pretty soon.
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+