2 Approaches to Writing a CV, Inspired by Seth Godin

Your CV is a pretty critical document. It goes ahead of you. It tells a story. It influences. It persuades. It gets you found. But your CV can be the opposite of all that too. It can be a powerless.

Here’s one idea inspired by Seth Godin (marketing guru)  to make an improvement.

Seth Godin wrote a few days back about 2 approaches to marketing. One is where you say to the customer: “What do you want?” And then give it to them. The other is: “Here’s what I have for you. Choose.”

Which is best? He used the analogy of a restaurant to explain.

Say you go to a restaurant. And instead of offering you a menu, they ask, “what would you like?” As – amazing – as that sounds, actually, for me, that wouldn’t be that great. It requires too much thinking. Suddenly when faced with all that choice, the offer isn’t that compelling, I’m not sure what to do. I hesitate.

Instead restaurants offer a menu. Like this (droool!):

  • Black Forest Double Chocolate Cake – decadent, rich chocolate cake packed with brandy soaked cherries.
  • Peach Melba – Peaches sautéed in rum over vanilla ice cream topped with fresh raspberries and sauce.

Yes, droool! So the choice is limited. But, man, it catches the imagination. So much better than, “what would you like?”

So when job hunting, with your CV, in job interviews, what’s your approach? Do you …

1) Present your experience, qualifications and then say, “what do you think, can I do something for you?”

Or do you …

2) Present a small number of really exciting benefits / results you can deliver – backed up with examples:

    • how as an Administrator you implemented a process that sped up customer service by 50%;
    • how as an Engineer your idea for a new design / product led to an 37% increase in sales so that the division exceeded budget by 23% in the 1st year and by 63% the 2nd year;
    • how because of your organizational abilities as a PA, your boss has never missed a flight or mislaid a single document;
    • how because of your relationship building skill, as a Sales Rep you’ve often won new accounts away from the competition (even though your prices are higher).

Is your CV a ‘menu’ of benefits to the employer? Quicker service; increased sales; total reliability; business growth? Or is it a list of personal details, duties and responsibilities – hoping that the employer will – somehow?? – get turned on by it enough to pick up the phone to call you.

[It’s this kind of ‘entrepreneurial’ thinking I teach within my member’s only INNER CIRCLE called Career & Success. It’s cheap to join. Go here: www.careerandsuccess.info]