5 Practical Actions to Improve Your CV

If you are looking to land your next job, your CV is a key document.

How good a job your CV does determines whether or not you get invited for interview or get rejected at the first stage of the selection process.

Here’s the bad news.  Most CV’s are pretty poor.  Some are bordering on being terrible.

The good news is that improvements can be made to your CV that greatly increase your chances of getting that all important interview invite.

Action 1: Determine your best skills

In your CV you want to showcase your skills.  Before you can do that you need to be clear about what your best skills are.

One option is to complete a detailed skills assessment.

Another option is to seek feedback from bosses, colleagues and peers.

Action 2: Determine your best attributes

In the early stages of any professional career skills and ability to do the job are a big part of the selection career.

Once you get professionally qualified things change.  There’s much greater focus on you and how you can complement a team.

What do people regularly praise you for?

These are clues to some of your best attributes.

Action 3: Determine your key career achievements

Most accountants and professionals that I’ve worked with struggle with this.  Yet your achievements prove your credentials and value to your next employer.

Take the time to create a list of your top 10 career achievements.

Action 4: Reduce the responsibilities and increase the achievements

Recruitment consultants often tell candidates to list out all the areas they have experience of.  I understand why.

Yet from an employing organisation and candidate perspective, it’s achievements that demonstrate track record.

For that reason I encourage clients to reduce the number of responsibilities and increase the number of achievements.

Action 5: Create a strong professional profile

This might be the only bit of the CV that gets read.

Think of it a bit like an executive summary in a business report.

Something that tells the employer about you, your experience, track record and why you are a good fit for the role.

The Bottom Line:  Your CV is a key document in helping you to land your next job.  Getting it right is likely to involve significant drafting and re-drafting.  Be willing to invest the time to make it as good as it can be.

About the Author Duncan Brodie

Since 2006 I’ve worked with in excess of 8,000 accountants and professionals in workshops, seminars and one to one helping them land their next jobs and become better leaders, presenters and business partners. Before that I spent 25 years in accountancy climbing the career ladder from Payments Clerk to FD. I’m a CIMA Fellow, Certified Professional Coach and Team Coach Facilitator.

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