Does your CV resemble a checklist, to-do list, a laundry list? Have you desperately tried to convince your prospective employers of your qualifications by including everything but the kitchen sink on your CV? Don’t.
Believe me, Human Resource Managers know what a job description is and they have seen thousands of CVs. While the HR’s goal is to screen CVs and identify qualified candidates, the person doing the screening, well, is a person.
And no one enjoys being bored to death, especially when sifting through long-winded CVs that repeat their all-too-familiar job description.
Here is a little secret
Many hiring managers actually write job descriptions. So, you are not doing them (or yourself) any favours by including a list of bullets with your daily job duties and responsibilities. Understand your CV’s job is not to give away every little detail of what your job entailed. That is not it’s job at all!
Instead, your CV’s job is…
To list your employment, so they know you have experience; include job titles, so they know you have done the job before; include dates, so they gauge your loyalty and employable record; and, include education, certifications, and professional development, so they verify your credentials.
The rest of the CV is marketing, so you can set yourself apart from other job seekers. How do you outdistance other job seekers? With differentiating, interesting and attention capturing copy that can catch the attention of the hiring manager. It is also important that you motivate them to “buy” what you are selling “you.”
Therefore, before you decide to use your CV to tell HR what an Operations Manager does, what a Creative Director is suppose to do, what Sales Managers are in charge of, try instead to capture their attention by telling them concisely;
a) How well you did it. Tell a story of what challenges you faced, how you creatively overcame them, and paint a picture of the results your efforts produced.
Now, that, will ensure you are memorable, entertaining, and worth an invitation into the office for a personal interview.
CV checklist for any job seeker
Here is a CV checklist to help determine if you have said way too much and if the “HR Lady” is snoring on the other end.
1. Is your Career Profile longer than five to six sentences?
Keep things short, sweet and employer-focused. It helps if you write this section last.
2. Have you included more than two to three soft skills in your CV?
Soft skills (work ethic, ability to work under pressure, and the likes) can be the X factor that differentiates you and energizes your writing. When you present your soft skills do so in the context of your work. Try not to mention, hardworking, honest, as it is not substantiated.
By writing in a line describing what you did and the results you capture the HR’s attention. But be careful that if you list too many of these, you will weaken your candidacy. On the flip side, substantiated and concrete skills (proficient at using SAP software), can help strengthen your candidacy.
3. Is it difficult to identify your hard skills?
Technical skills, experience listed through the use of industry jargon and proficiencies such as staff management, operations improvement and sales cycle. These should be clearly identified and simplified to ensure that it is easy to understand.
4. Does your employment history resemble a job ad?
Have you just defined what your job title means by recounting the reason you were hired? Don’t do this. Instead, focus on how you performed in this role, how you owned the role, and tell a story of the scope of your work and some of the obstacles you faced and overcame and how you better positioned the department or company.
5. Do you have about 10 or more bullets under each job description?
Remember, accomplishments are to be put in bullets. While you may have more than a few accomplishments under each role, a professional CV writer can combine similar achievements, identify which are worth mentioning and support smaller accomplishment in this section. There are a very many ways to identify and illustrate your professional milestones without having to list 20 bullets under each job title.
Writing a CV that is not boring can give you the break you need, by getting you notice, which is one step closer to the interview. So, you will be closer to landing your dream job.