Imagine the scenario, you see your ideal job, the more you read the job description, the more you conclude it’s you they are looking for.
You start imagining yourself working there, telling all your friends about your new dream job. You decide right then and there you are going to apply, so off goes your CV.
This is the time to market yourself
And it’s often a lot harder than it sounds.
- Consider the reader. Remember your CV is targeted at line or recruiting managers who are short on time. Make it easy for them to realise you are a strong candidate.
- Show your achievements. I wish I had a pound for every CV I had read that didn’t mention an achievement. I am not talking generic achievements “I developed a strategy” “I ran a campaign” – I am talking about real, factual results, what results did that strategy generate, how many new donors did that new campaign recruit? Talking about real, tangible results will make you really stand out.
- How long is too long? Keep your CV to a reasonable length; make sure the content is valuable content, for an experienced individual a 3-page document is probably the limit.
- Legibility Is the font you have used easy to read? Is it clear and uncluttered?
- The order of things: Reverse chronological order format shows clearly what you are currently doing and your most recent achievements. List your education history with dates attended, include any language skills in chronological order.
- Bullet points: these make your CV easier to read, and you can use these to describe the companies you have worked for and your major achievements.
- Detail on the recent roles: Be brief about earlier assignments so you can describe your most recent role in greater detail.
- Contact details – make sure the recruiter can actually contact you.
- Personal statement – if you want to include one at the beginning, make sure it’s factual and makes you stand out. Don’t use generic statements and hype. It is better to state perhaps areas of specialism and key achievements. It’s amazing how many natural born and strategic thinkers there are out there!
- Gaps in time: Explain all significant breaks in your education and employment; If you don’t, it will raise questions and doubts.
- Attention to detail: Check your CV thoroughly and carefully. Then check it again. Spelling mistakes, typographic errors and inconsistent dates are even more damaging at a senior level.
- Customise it: Tailor your CV for every single job application. Yes it’s timely but if it’s your ideal job it’s worth spending the time. Believe me, it wont go unrecognised.