Recruiters (yes, myself included) have a tendency to over-saturate the market with CV tips. Yes, we all write about it but seldom realise how bloody difficult it is from a candidate point of view to actually write one!
I have vowed obsequiously, since taking on the mantle of a recruitment consultancy to just that, consult on every CV.
Here are my top three CV tips:
1. Don’t just assume the person reading your CV knows everything about you
A vast majority of candidates fail to disclose relevant facts, figures, stats, successes, responsibilities and day to day workings of their role. It does bear the question; does the person who reads your CV recognise exactly what you do? For this reason it is important to be specific and readdress every point in layman’s terms.
Bad CV Example: ‘Advertised on the radio to introduce new customers’.
This is fine, but it really doesn’t offer the reader much in terms of anything tangible. I would stress that this is not sufficient enough and as a recruiter I would need to hone in on this. It does not explain the significance of the radio campaign in question, the budgets, successes, neither the role played in ensuring that this campaign went live. As an extension of this point, this particular radio campaign could have generated £1,000,000 in revenue or failed to convert any customers at all.
Good CV Example: ‘Formed a relationship with JACKfm Oxfordshire, a local commercial radio station. I opted to run a targeted radio campaign on their sister station (JACK2). It was felt that the sister station, (a female oriented audience) may better suit our product and service due to the decision makers in households being female in this particular field. The campaign lasted an initial three weeks and targeted parents between 7 am – 9 am, Monday – Friday whilst on the school run in a bid to maximise our exposure to our key demographic. Moreover, this respective campaign went live in a bid to encourage new customers to sign up at an discounted introductory rate. Following the initial radio campaign, 21 vouchers from new customers were purchased directly, 20 of these customers renewed beyond their initial purchase with an opening gross profit of £1,660 for the first quarter. Predicted profits for the next quarter to follow at £2,400 with a follow up three week radio campaign scheduled in May 2017. Our first campaign had a net profit of £1,250 once costs were factored into the calculation.
At first glance this might appear to be an extreme example, however there is merit in adopting this method particularly when avoiding grey areas.
2. Do you have enough content?
BSkyB (the global media giant) has a huge global audience. Their success relies solely on their ability to provide content, developing new ideas and advertising. If BSkyB fails to deliver on any of these it will negatively affect their business, perhaps irreversibly. If BSkyB fails to provide any new content it no longer has any viewership. With no viewership it no longer has any paying subscribers and with no subscribers revenue drawn from advertising would too diminish. Consider any of these facets a ‘choke point’ and by ‘choke point’ I mean something that could negatively impact or deem it futile.
Similarly, CV’s require a balance of suitable content, accurate grammar, relevancy, facts and figures. If you’re a salesperson you need significant figures or clients whilst Administrator’s, your CV ought to be accurate and well structured! For this reason it is worth contemplating whether your CV accurately supports and harnesses your applications.
If you are applying for a sales position but make no mention of sales in your CV, this is your choke point. Perhaps you may also need to consider whether you have articulated your skills, qualifications, practical experience or aptitude for the position. To be successful you ultimately need relevant content. Whilst this sounds obvious, in practise the ideal CV ought to include on average 15-20 bullet points, per job.
3. Nobody owes you a thing
This might sound like a tough pill to swallow, but it’s true. Whilst indirectly linked to your CV, if you want to secure your next job you need to be a level above everybody else and most importantly, you must be worth an employer investing thousands in your ability to do a job (and they will expect a return on their investment). If the salary is £16,000, the company may expect a return of £40,000 (or more) therefore you need to develop a pretty convincing pitch that starts with your CV and extends to your interview performance.
Candidates who fail to apply this method of thinking often fail to land their job. This is another ‘choke point’ in the application process and one that is easiest to rectify.