Creating A Great CV Part 1: Do The Groundwork

Your CV is an important document. It determines whether or not you are invited for interview.

So what’s the first thing you do when it comes to creating or revising your CV?

If you are like the majority chances are you will open Word or some other document and start typing.

Now you might be asking what’s wrong with taking this approach.

Well let’s look at cooking a meal.

Before you cook the meal you have to work out the ingredients.

Once you have got the ingredients you need to do all of the preparation ahead of cooking the meal.

Only once you have done all of the preparation do you start to cook the meal.

When you are creating or updating a CV you want the finished document to be as good as it can be.

To do that you need to determine:

  • What you need to include in your CV.
  • What you need to specifically highlight on the document so that you stand out from the majority of candidates interested in a role.
  • How you are going to positively influence those who are making the decisions about who to interview and who goes on the rejection bundle.

When I’m working with clients I refer to this as the Discovery phase of the process of getting their next job.

It’s the thinking stage that allows you to market yourself effectively.

It moves you from being the person who just gets the CV completed to the person who sees the bigger picture and recognises that this is really your personal marketing brochure.

Doing this essential but often passed by groundwork will positively impact on your success in getting invited for interviews, which is the ultimate goal of your CV.

The reason I say this is that I’ve experienced the benefits of doing this myself throughout my career.

I’ve also seen the difference it makes to my clients.

So when it comes to creating or updating your CV ask yourself:

  • Am I going to do the ground work to create a great CV or
  • Am I just going to do the minimum?

At the end of the day it’s your choice

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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