by Mike Daniell2
Your CV For 2016 / 2017– Getting It Right
So Q4 has almost been and gone and spring has sprung – but what happened to that CV review you said you would do in January, and plans to kick your interim career into gear? The new financial year is as good a time as any to update your CV, here consultant Mike Daniell points out some of the basic do’s and don’ts to getting it right.
Your Interim CV – Do’s and Don’ts
A good CV can be the most important part of your job search as it’s the main opportunity to persuade someone to meet you face to face. For most, it is a document they have had for years, tweaking and changing when necessary. But a good overhaul, especially when actively seeking a new role, can make all the difference. Too often, opportunities and offers may be missed because the document you create fails to convey effectively your achievements. Here are some key ways to ensure your CV is as impressive as your career.
You may be surprised at the amount of people that either omit their contact details or put the wrong details on their CV. Make sure they are clear, make sure they are right and make sure they are professional – especially when it comes to email addresses.
Make sure your most recent positions (listed at the start of the CV) have more information than older positions. What you did many years ago usually has little relevance to the current opportunity you are applying for. The simple rule is: more information for recent roles, less for older ones.
There is a school of argument for and against education details, especially at senior level, but I do believe relevant educational achievements and qualifications are appropriate, especially if they show a commitment to your chosen field of expertise and continuous professional development.
Again it may sound obvious but many CV’s simply list roles and responsibilities of previous positions. This is not enough. Make sure you detail what you achieved in your role, what difference did you make? If you can, use data and growth percentages for instant impact.
Surprisingly, even at the senior interim level, we still see CV’s that can be eight pages long! With the best will in the world, pages 3-8 will rarely be read. Your ability to be concise is important in written word, as it is in speech. Verbose individuals are rarely impressive, and this includes your CV.
Avoid these at all costs. Your CV needs to differentiate you, not blend in. Statement such as “highly motivated”, “team player” and “personable” are a given and not required. It is much better to use the valuable limited line space to highlighting hard skills, responsibilities and achievements.
It should go without saying, but there is still evidence of candidates using unnecessary fonts, tables, colours and formats. Additionally, using a Microsoft Word document is always best. PDF’s can be corrupted easily, and even if not, free PDF to Word converters no longer make your CV ‘unchangeable’. Use a Word format always.
Such as nicknames, personal views, jokes and even referees are not required. The CV is a factual document relaying information about your career, skills and achievements. Anything else is small talk which can be done after you have gained the interview – and even the job!
99.99% of jobs don’t require a photograph on the application, as such a CV doesn’t need your picture. Your LinkedIn profile will be looked at anyway (which incidentally, should have a photo). But your CV should remain as a pure business document.
What are your views on the right format for a CV? Share your thoughts in the comments below.