How to write a winning CV
That gets read in under 30 seconds!
In previous posts, we’ve explained how every employee does operate like a company and explained how to use this approach to boost personal branding and find better career opportunities. When you’re applying for a new job, you’re offering your expertise and set of skills to your future employer and promising them some value to get if they decide to hire you. You’re marketing yourself and according to John Lees, a UK-based career strategist, your CV is your “marketing document”.
There can be a lot of controversies about how to write a CV but the fact that every CV has only 15-20 seconds to get a yes-or-no response from the recruiter makes one rule clear: concision is key and elaboration is fatal!
Effective CV Structure
One thing that can help you write a compelling CV is to know what recruiters are looking for. You have to grab their attention by placing the information they wish to see first. To make this clear, we’ve developed an effective CV structure in which sections go in the following order.
Write your name at the top of your resume and combine it with your phone number, professional email address, and a link to your LinkedIn profile.
That’s the very first part of your CV. Write a few sentences of about 20-30 words describing your job title, expertise, and your objective. Your summary is what recruiters first come across in your CV and based on the impression it makes, they decide whether to keep or dump your CV. Your summary has to be rich but very brief. And in some way, it has to incorporate your value proposition. The promise you make to your future employer.
After the summary, you need to add an accomplishments section in which you make the connection between the job requirements and your expertise. Tell the story of how you contributed to the success of your previous organizations. Did you save money? Met target? Increased revenue? Trained employees? Use bullet points and give the recruiter a sense of what you did by using numbers particularly when addressing time and money. Use high impact words and action verbs such as completed, developed, managed, created, and led.
Here you should mention your previous positions clearly and briefly. Mention the company name, your job title, and the duration you spent there. Do NOT mention your job responsibilities but rather add your accomplishments in one-line bullet points.
Here you have to mention your degree and any relevant certifications. You shouldn’t mention every single course or training you attended. Only stick to the most important ones which are aligned with the job requirements.
Writing a compelling CV can be a bit challenging, yet it’s very important both in building a good personal brand and landing better job opportunities. You need to be very selective with what you decide to put in your CV. Choose the best accomplishments, the best jobs you had and remember that your CV isn’t meant to be comprehensive. Don’t get too fancy with fonts that are hard to read. Choose simple fonts and leave out white spaces. Use bullet points over stuffed paragraphs and add words from your industry. Proofread your CV, correct your mistakes and ask someone to check it for you. Stay accurate, concise, and to the point if you want your CV to stand out.