A CV is your chance to sell yourself to a potential employer and it has to be well written. Don’t waffle, don’t underplay your skills and definitely don’t lie… just be honest, be YOU.
After all, in a job interview they will soon work out the real you. Here are some CV tips that could help you sell yourself to a potential employer:
Set The Scene
Whether you call it a personal statement or simply label it ‘core skills and experience’, every CV should start with a strong opener. This can either be a short personal statement or, if you have a lot of relevant experience to talk about, detailed bullet points.
This is your opportunity to convince a recruiter that the rest of your CV is worth reading. It should consist of just 50 very hard-working words that will sell, at a glance, you and your skills to a time-pressed employer…
Choose Your Words Carefully
Here’s one crucial piece of advice to get your pitch right: do away with meaningless, clichéd statements. Everybody on the planet claims to have excellent communication skills and the ability to work in a team!
Still feeling an overwhelming impulse to list timekeeping and organisational expertise? Consider this:
“I am a committed and hard working individual who enjoys a challenge. In addition to strong communication skills, I am able to work effectively in a team. I can also demonstrate advanced problem-solving skills and thrive under pressure. My drive and ambition ensure I am a valuable addition to any company.”
Out of the 200 or so CVs stacked up on the desk, what evidence is there this particular candidate is worth investigating further?
Remember, no recruiter is going to take your word for it. If the above is genuine it will have been formed off the back of real experience, and THAT’S the part employers want to know about. Try this instead:
“An ambitious and hard working individual, my career at highly respected companies are testament to my commitment and ability. I handle multiple tasks on a daily basis competently, working well under the pressure. Frequent acknowledgment of my contribution from senior management illustrates my potential value to your company. I would welcome the opportunity to discuss my suitability in more detail.”
Not only is this candidate ambitious and hardworking, he has worked at some impressive companies, proving his worth and dedication.
If senior management has taken notice, this individual must be a high achiever who can juggle multiple projects under stressful conditions. It’s a convincing pitch. The candidate has got around the clichés by linking them to real-life examples.
Other Tips To Bear in Mind
Don’t start every sentence with “I.” This is admittedly difficult when you’re writing a paragraph all about yourself, but think carefully about how you might restructure your sentences to avoid it. Write your CV aimed directly at the person reading it. Whether you write “your company” or the company name, address the employer directly. Your words will instantly become more personal and relevant. Don’t think it, know it. Don’t water down your words by stating you THINK you’re a good candidate – tell them you are. Edit ruthlessly. Force yourself to cut out as many unnecessary words as possible; the finished statement will have a greater impact.
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