16.05.2017

Writing your CV...

When it comes to looking for a new job then it's time to think of your CV as a marketing tool. This is the key piece of data that a potential employer is going to use to decide whether you might be the right person for the job. Yes...before you say it, it is my job to talk them through it and get them to buy in, but ultimately most clients like to have a moment to review as well and if what they are seeing does not create the right mental image then it makes the persuasion part on my side that much more difficult.

So a few ideas to get you started:

1) Unless you are targeting creative ad agencies or the like, please don't be too creative with the formatting! Moving parts, pictures, graphs, graphics ...just don't. Firstly the client may not have the tech to make it all work like you want it too and secondly most clients are strapped for time, they want to get straight to the meat of whether you might be suitable and just won't read it.

2) You do not need to bother with a picture. Why are you adding it anyway? If you think your looks will help you get a job then you should know that the world has moved on. Your skill set and personality/cultural fit is what will get you hired.

3) Add contact details - why some people don't makes me literally pull my hair out! People will not ring if they don't have a number to call!

4) Add education but not every single topic you took at GCSE and the grade - just the fact you passed x number of exams will do. More interesting if you did a degree is to know what the degree was but again please don't over do it. Degree grade, University attended and title of course is more than enough.

5) Qualifications - again outline details and really focus on the relevant ones - Digital marketing course passed - brilliant to know; Qualified Judo Instructor 20 years ago - less relevant.

6) Experience - this is the most important thing for me. I believe employers will largely hire you based on what you have done in your most recent few years - therefore balance the CV accordingly. Emphasise the jobs over that period and only the highlights of the ones preceding. The fact that you were a marketing exec 20 years ago is not going to make all the difference to whether they get you in for an interview.

7) Think about what the value was that you gave to a role, not just your duties. Achievements, ROI and details. If your work contributed to bringing in x2 revenue in comparison to the year before then make sure you write that. Conclusion being that if you can do it for them then you might be able to do it for your next employer.

8) Personal interests - I think they are important as you never know what your interviewers does in their spare time and people hire people who share interests or who interest them but don't get carried away. Again this section is more to allow for conversation at interview than it is something which you will be chosen for interview based on.

9) Remember this is not a novel but a preview with detail. If you've done something that is relevant and recent then it deserves to go in but if you find you are reaching page 5/6 and are using font size 8 then maybe re read and cut it down.

10) Final thought is to be prepared to tweak your CV for every individual application you make based on the information the recruiter has given you at brief and on the job spec. It allows you to highlight the achievements you have had in your career that are most relevant to the individual job.

CV writing is hard work but an essential part of the job search process to get right. Well worth the additional time you spend on it if it results in that one extra interview which can pull in the dream job. If you want to talk it through with someone then contact Hatch for a confidential discussion. 
  • Recruitment
  • Recruitment Advice
  • CV Writing
  • cv adv
Hatch recruitment limited Recruitment Consultant

I am a recruitment specialist with over 13 years experience. I set up my own business a little over a year ago to focus on providing a relationship focused service which put my clients needs at the…

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