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Ah, the joys of writing a CV…

Writing a CV, oh my!

I think a lot of people actually do put off looking for a new job because they don’t want to have to take on the task of writing a new or updating an old CV. A few points of advice can make this task so much simpler.

Don’t cram!

What I mean by this is don’t leave your CV writing until the last minute, regularly update whether you are looking for employment or not. You should give yourself a couple of hours a quarter (yes three months) to sit down and review what you have done and achieved in the past three months. Make yourself familiar with new markets, commentary from industry thought leaders, different and popular trends in your work sector’s recruitment world. A good way of doing this is to review several current and relevant job specs and take on board what companies want regarding experience, talent spotting and terminology used to describe requirements. While a CV or profile is and should be a personable account of your career and achievements to date, you need to also echo current trends and commentary to keep it fresh and engaging.

Stand out from the crowd!

Good CVs I believe should be clear, concise but also show a glimpse of the person who created the document. By this, I don’t mean an intro paragraph at the top of your CV proclaiming to everyone how wonderful you are, trustworthy, loyal, such a great team member but of course will also excel when you work on your own. For me, these proclamations are yada ya and really not an indicator at all of who the individual is if anything these generic statements are lazy and probably not a selling point. Personally, the cynic in me would love to see someone for once write an honest snapshot. I.e. “I’ll work hard for you but don’t expect me to arrive at work early without a hangover after the Irish team wins big.” OK maybe not quite that but you get my point. Personally, I’d leave these generic descriptions out and let the reader come to those conclusions through the power of your CV.

Think like an employer!

Your presentation of yourself should be a lot more subtle and convincing. This can be partly achieved by designing a CV that clearly defines job duties and achievements. Job duties are what you find in your job description. This is what your employer expects of you. Job achievements are, well what you have personally delivered while carrying out your duties. This is where you have gained from the job and developed as an individual. It’s an important distinction to make because it shows you’re not just a “nine to fiver” only looking forward to your pay cheque but rather someone who is interested in personal development and progression while positively contributing to your employer. When outlining achievements remember you’re are conveying information to someone who is probably not familiar with your work environment so steady on with the acronyms and talk regarding percentages rather than monetary value.

Links and more links

Make sure to include any relevant links to online business profiles about yourself especially any that contain testimonials. Ensure the information on your CV tallies with the information in these accounts. Discrepancies can be a red flag. LinkedIn can play an important role here.

The real you!

You can, of course, include information about your interests and pursuits and also extra curricula achievements you have gained in your family social and leisure life. Remember this information can often be checked online to some extent or other so be sure it tallies with any social media accounts you have. Probably best you restrict settings to only allow public viewing of a small amount of information. You’d be amazed how many recruiters check and find a whole lot of non-CV info on people they are assessing.

And finally check for errors and clarity!

Remember to keep it clear and to the point and ask a few third parties to read it through so it makes sense and you’re not missing anything glaringly obvious before you rubber stamp it.

“Your CV is an appetiser and the interview the main course”

The job of your CV is to get the reader’s juices flowing, so they are enticed to find out more about you, and the only way to do that is to invite you in for the interview.
CVs job done!

Gerry is a senior professional recruiter and has been sourcing talent at all levels for clients in Ireland with a focus on the engineering and I.T. sectors. He has accumulated his experience for over thirty years and shares his insights and opinions to help you understand what can make you stand out from the crowd when seeking new employment. Gerry is part of the Vista People Executive Search team who set-up