I don’t believe in ‘tips and tricks’ type articles when it comes to something as important as developing your CV.
In reality, there are no shortcuts. The CV writing process requires collection of all the relevant information, judgement about what should and shouldn’t go on and then some creativity in how you present the information; making sure of course that you give an accurate picture of what you can offer. Then there is the editing of the final document; best done over at least a few days, until you have something that is ready to do its job effectively. That job is, of course, to get you interviews.
I know lots of people who have applied for one job and got an interview, or a few jobs and got a few interviews. It’s not a numbers game. Remember that the recruiter does want to hire someone.
So, creativity on its own is not enough, nor is the following of any advice about what you ‘must’ or ‘must not’ include. It’s about judgement, and it’s about relevance – to you and your target job.
If you were to follow the ‘tips and tricks’, then you would be doing the same thing as lots of other people. The point of the CV is to do the opposite – to make you stand out.
How do you make this happen? You have to change your entire approach to constructing your CV. This will take longer, but it will work.
What is a CV for?
The most common mistake that I see is that people treat the CV as if it were a list of facts. Let’s get it done and then send loads of them out right?
Well … No actually.
A CV is a marketing document that demonstrates how you will make a valuable contribution to your next employer and justifies this with examples from your past performance or training. It gives them reasons to invite you to interview.
We know that this process is flawed because it largely uses past performance as a way of estimating future fulfilment in a different environment, but it’s the best we have.
The way to do this is to get rid of any details that don’t convey your value (except contact information of course!) and focus on what you have done and achieved. No waffle. No cramming it full of adjectives. No baseless claims.
Graeme Jordan is a CV Writer and Interview Coach who helps candidates at all levels in a range of industries to get interviews and get selected. See more at www.GraemeJordanCV.com
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