How to ensure your CV makes it
to the top of the pile
Do we really need another article on how to write a great CV? They're pretty basic right?
Well yes...and no.
Here's the definition of curriculum vitae: 'a brief account of a person's education, qualifications, and previous occupations', or to translate from the Latin, 'the course of my life'. So if you want to do the minimum then you're good to go and you can stop reading here.
If, on the other hand, you want your CV to stand out in that pile of 100 on a recruiter's desk, if you want to get through to interview and land that dream role, then it's going to take a bit more for you to differentiate yourself.
And here's why differentiation is so key. I'm currently coaching a number of people amongst the 3,000 recently, or soon to be, made redundant from the mega toy retailer Toys R Us. Many of them, as is the norm in retail, have identical job titles and similar career paths from junior shop floor roles up to keyholders, store managers and beyond. The problem is that on paper, many of these talented people and their unique journeys look almost identical, and the competition is naturally fierce when so many people enter the job market at the same point.
That's the problem, So what to do to make your CV really stand out and sell you? The key is to focus on your achievements, not just a description of the roles you've held - and to craft these in a relevant, engaging and action-orientated way.
The difference between a standout CV and a forgettable one may sometimes only be a few well-chosen words. Understanding the techniques to help you select those words is a skill, and it’s a skill you need if you’re going to pierce through the grey fog that surrounds every typical pile of job applications.
So next time you think CV, don't write your life story, but instead focus on Communicating your Value to future employers - it will make the world of difference.
Experience is not what happens to you;
it's what you do with what happens to you.
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