The first stage in applying for a position is to create a CV or resume. Sadly people often fail to give this the time and effort it deserves. Remember, this is your personal marketing document. It will determine whether you move to the next stage in the recruiting process or are assigned to the recycling bin. Adopting 5 simple tips can help you to move to the next stage rather than the recycling bin. What are they?
Tip 1: Change your perspective
Getting yourself into the right frame of mid is essential. If you see producing your CV as a chore, this is exactly what it will be. If on the other hand you view it as an opportunity to sell a unique service called you, not only will you be more motivated but will start to be much more creative.
What perspective do you think is going to produce the greatest finished article?
Tip 2: Do a personal audit
Before you start to put pen to paper or fingers to keyboard, take the time to do a personal audit. The purpose of this personal audit is to discover all of your assets in terms of:
• Personal attributes
This will take you a bit of time but will pay dividends in the long run. In carrying out your personal audit, make sure that you:
• Look at your whole career and not just your current job
• Think about things outside of work where maybe you are in a leadership role or have to be highly organised (parenting is a good example)
• Ask others for their input
• Recognise your achievements
Tip 3: Start with a summary profile
A summary profile is a bit like a 30 second pitch that grabs the attention of the recruiter and wants them to find out more. Make this the first section on your CV. In producing your profile, make it as powerful as possible. Include things like:
• Years of experience
• Industry sector experience if appropriate
• Track record in sorting out problems or turning round poor performance
• Specific knowledge of say mergers and acquisitions, risk management, taxation
• Specific IT skills where relevant
Tip 4: Focus on achievements
Recruiters are not that interested in a list of what you do and how you do it. They want to know about your achievements and results. Use a bullet point format and aim for 2-3 key achievements. They could be for example:
• Saved the company £100,000 in tax
• Increased sales by 20%
• Reduced departmental running costs by 15% while maintaining quality
• Automated a manual process that released x days of resource each month
• Increased client satisfaction scores by 10%
Tip 5: Get feedback
Once you have produced your document, pass it to a few people whose opinion you respect. Ask them for their feedback on the following questions:
• What overall message does it give?
• What stands out?
• What is missing?
Consider all of the feedback and decide for yourself what changes you want to make to improve the document while still retaining it as your document.
Your CV is your personal marketing document. Use it to your advantage to get the job you desire and get ahead in your career.
Since 2006 I’ve worked with in excess of 7,000 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.