A CV is your key career marketing document. The effectiveness of your CV has a huge bearing on whether you get past the starting gate and into the race for a job.
It can be really tempting just to sit down in front of your computer and start to focus on how to present what you have to offer. While this is certainly one approach, it is not in my experience the most effective one.
In reviewing CV’s for clients I can see a real difference between those who have done the preparatory work and those who have just jumped in and created something using a template.
One important thing you want to showcase on your CV is your skills. Some do a great job, while others find it a real struggle to showcase their skills.
There are several reasons why people struggle to showcase their skills:
So how should you tackle skills identification so that you identify and showcase effectively what you have to offer?
Do A Brainstorming Session
You can simply sit down and list or create a mind map of all you skills. At this stage you don’t want to worry about assessing your skill level just generating ideas. You can do this on your own but doing it with someone else can trigger ideas.
Sort Your Ideas
If you are a professional person you might sort your ideas into the following broad categories:
Review Your Skills Under Each Heading And Expand
Often when working with clients, they focus just on the headline skill, without really identifying the sub-skills that contribute towards the headline skill. Let’s illustrate this with a few examples.
Imagine you are an accountant who has a skill in completing the statutory accounts for an organisation. You highlight this skill. However as we all know there are a whole host of sub skills. Specifically you need good planning and project management skills. You also need to be excellent time manager, as the process is always time critical. Communication skills will also be needed as you will have to get information from others and work with the auditors to get the accountants signed off.
Maybe you are an accountant who identifies IT skills as a headline skill. Your sub-skills could include expertise in buying IT systems, running a full implementation and building financial models to highlight just a few. Of course there are a whole host of interpersonal skills needed in addition to the technical stuff like communication, negotiating, questioning and listening.
The Reality: The more time you spend in identifying your skills, the more effective you are going to be at showcasing your skills. Ultimately this is going to lead to more job interviews and more opportunity to have more career success.
Duncan Brodie helps accountants and other professionals to achieve more career success. He invites you to sign up for his free audio masterclass here.
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.