How To Make The Career History Section of Your CV Stand Out

As an accountant or professional you know that your CV or resume is an important document.  Produce a good one and you get more job interview invitations.  Produce a mediocre CV or resume and you get rejected at the first stage.

You know that you need to have a complete career history on your CV and explain any gaps.  On the other hand do you know how to make the career history section of your CV stand out?

Having reviewed thousands of CV’s over the last 25+ years what I can say that most CV’s are at best fair.  The career history section contains the detailed information on which a decision will be made.

To make it stand out I suggest the following.

Stop, Think and Reflect

Few will do this.  Most will start typing or worse still copy and paste information from documents like job descriptions.

What to do instead is to take time to reflect on each job and ask yourself:

  • What were the major areas of responsibility in the job?  Think in terms of the 20% that contributed to 80% of your results.
  • What difference did I make in the job?  Think in terms of contributions that you made that really had a positive impact.
  • What did I achieve in the job?  This is the thing that I most commonly see as missing from the vast majority of CV’s.  Where they are included they are often poorly written.  Think in terms of business benefit.

Target Content As Much As Possible

Will you need a complete re-write every time?  Probably not.  At the same time you do need to consider what you include, what you exclude and what you give greatest emphasis to.

Remember first and foremost the hiring manager is looking for evidence and assurance.  The closer your content matches what the hiring manager is looking for the better.

Get Your CV Reviewed

Yes you could hire a career coach to do this.  Alternatively you could ask a professional colleague who knows you and your work well.

Simply ask them for their input and suggestions to make your CV or resume even better.

Change Your Perspective

 You might think this is a lot of hard work.  It is.  What you do need to keep at the front of your mind is that you are asking an organisation to make a significant financial investment in you.  Surely that deserves some effort on your part.

About the Author Duncan Brodie

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.

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