Career advice, insights & tips for HR professionals
Getting that CV noticed 13/07/2012
At the end of the day, if you want to secure a new role, you have to get in front someone, present your case and impress them more than anyone else they see.
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Get a second opinion
But, to get to this point, you have to get noticed on paper first. So, how do you do this? Working in HR – and having sat on the client-side of oh so many interviews! –
I’m sure you’ll have many of the answers already, but it’s always worth taking a second opinion about crafting that perfect CV…
How you present your information is the first thing people will notice. The first few seconds are your window to grab the attention: a clear and obvious layout, simple typeface and punchy headings will help entice someone (who probably has a pile of paper as high as their PC to work through) to read on.
Remember, it’s not a design competition…a CV is a sales document and must clearly convey what makes you an attractive proposition.
What you say is ultimately the most important thing. An engaging, concise and pertinent profile or summary sets the tone for the CV, so spend some time thinking about the best way to sell yourself in 100 words or less.
Think of it as speed dating, or a sales pitch…in reality it’s a bit of both! When showcasing your experience, focus on your skills and achievements (not a list of responsibilities and tasks) and remember to evidence them and show the outcome/benefit for your employer.
Use numbers, or comparisons…e.g. ‘implemented a new succession planning strategy which reduced attrition by 10% and saved the business £180,000pa in recruitment costs’. Telling someone precisely how you did this can come later – let’s whet the appetite with some specific highlights first.
Make your CV relevant
Remember also who you’re talking to, and what they will be looking for. All businesses will have a different slant on what they require for any given role, and what the right mix of skills will look like for them.
Think too if you can about the individual who will be looking at your CV, and what they will want to see. Not so easy you say? Sure, that means you need to do your homework.
Find out as much as you can about the business and the people in it to help you understand how to present your skills and experience to meet their needs. This isn’t about being disingenuous, it’s about talking their language and meeting their needs. It will also help you decide if the business is for you.
Through clear presentation, by focusing on your skills and achievements, and by keeping your content relevant to the role and business you’re applying for, you will stand out from the crowd and reach the next stage… the interview.
Artis HR is the leading specialist resourcing consultancy focused solely on the supply of senior HR leadership, employee engagement and internal / change communications professionals.