Whether you think it or not, being able to market yourself in the job market is vital. One of the most important pieces of your marketing materials is your CV. It’s the document that gets you invited to interview or rejected at the first stage.
Given the importance of a CV you would think that everyone would learn to write a good one. Yet in my experience this is not the case. So let’s look at the biggest problems in writing a CV.
Problem 1: You Don’t Have A Structure
Structure might not be the most exciting thing about the CV. At the same time it matters because when you think about structure, you focus on making the CV as easy as possible to read and digest. Always set out with the reader at the forefront of your mind.
Problem 2: You Have The Wrong Mindset
Many people from professional backgrounds have beliefs and mindsets that get in the way of their success. They don’t want to come across as pushy or blowing their own trumpet. How this impacts on their CV is that they tend to understate the value and contribution they can make.
Problem 3: You Write Too Much About What You Do
Responsibilities are important to give a sense of what you have done. If all your CV focuses on is responsibilities you miss the point. Keep the piece about responsibilities to key responsibilities.
Problem 4: You Don’t Highlight Achievements
What recruiters and employers are looking for ultimately is evidence that you have achieved. The best CV’s will be full of achievements. Trouble is most people are reluctant to highlight achievements because they worry that they are not significant enough. Achievements don’t need to be massive, just sufficient to get interest.
Problem 5: You Don’t Commit The Time To It
When you are applying for a job you are asking a potential employer to make a major commitment in you. In return for that commitment, surely it is not unreasonable to commit a good amount of time to writing a CV. If you were on the other side of the table would you be interested in seeing someone who clearly had put in minimal effort?
The Bottom Line: A CV is a vital part of your personal marketing materials so make sure that you create something that gets you noticed.
Duncan Brodie is the author of the Kindle Book How To Have A Successful Career In Accountancy and helps accountants and professional people to achieve more career success and earn what they are worth.
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.