The first job you have is to ⚡️get attention⚡️. So, in your “Improve CV” mission, whether you’re a CEO or an Accountant, your job search is a sales job. Selling you! And your CV is nothing if not a sales tool. And it’s first job is to get attention. But here’s what I see:
So many CVs – 95% – just look so ordinary. Like a million others. As a result, right from the start, you’re already struggling to get noticed, be seen as different or as a better class of applicant.
This doesn’t mean you aren’t trying new things. You may have downloaded a beautiful template from Etsy to improve your CV or resume. But then you discover that making your details ‘fit’ into it, is really hard. At the end it just looks as awkward as that old MS Word template you’ve been using.
There are 2 key areas in your “Improve CV” mission where your CV needs to really “pop” to get the attention you’re wanting. Here’s the first. And some ideas follow.
1) Mission: “Improve CV” – the look and feel, layout and overall presentation.
➤ Keep it simple: rather than over-complicate and look awkward, keep it simple and look well done, precise, well organised, professional. Get help with the word processing! No using spacebar to align things (use tabs! be precise), no tables (with a barrage of gridlines, switch off the gridlines/borders if you do use them in places).
➤ Watch your vertical (up/down) alignment. The readers eye is jarred by text that is not cleanly aligned top to bottom.
➤ Use a picture or a personal logo of some sort. Expert opinions vary on this. But I recommend it. A great picture (just a headshot) – where you look warm, friendly (not overly friendly, not over eager, not desperate to be liked), competent, well put together can work well.
➤ When you use a picture, place it top left. From a reader’s perspective it’s the best spot for it.
➤ To the right of the picture state what you are, “Management Accountant” “CEO” or “Mechanical Engineer”. Show immediately what role you fit into.
➤ Below that make a clear bold statement of a) your credibility – years of experience, qualifications, any well known companies you’ve worked for; and b) a confident, clear benefit statement – eg, “I provide Exco’s with financial performance dashboards and insights they never knew was available – helping them to make better, quicker, more profitable decisions.”
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The 2nd key area is:
2) Improve the actual content you use in the CV – how to use it to get attention.
Use the following:
➤ Clear statements: make clear statements about what you do. Be specific. Be brief. To make an impact you have to be. Example:
“I write CVs using my unique DISRUUPT formula that takes my clients from ‘lost in the crowd’ to employers bashing down their door with job opportunities – even if their CV looks like it was written in the 90’s right now.” (This is mine.)
➤ Benefit statements: spread throughout your CV should be statements about how you made a difference, how you improved something, built something, turned something around. Employers are looking for someone who is active, effective.
➤ Specific details and statistics: you can say –
“Achievement: implemented a system to improve end of month invoicing.”
OR you can rather say:
“Faced a backlog of 3 months’ invoicing. Devised a plan which collected R3m in outstanding debt and introduced a system which prevented future invoice problems – all within the first 30 days.”
More interesting, right? More interest, more attention.
➤ Social proof: if your former client sent you an email saying –
“Joe, you’ve been amazing in sorting this mess out. We were about to move to another supplier. You’ve restored our faith! Don’t ever leave, please!”
Why not include that in your CV? It helps convince any reader that you truly are an asset and make a difference.
➤ Make it clear you are a problem solver. Include examples of problems you solve. Think of examples a future employer may be having. Include examples that show how you solve these.
I hope this helps? I’m here for you, if you have a question. Reach out if you need help.