Is your CV up to the job?
“The only man who behaves sensibly is my tailor; he takes my measurements anew each time he sees me. The rest go on with their old measurements and expect me to fit them.”
Competition for managerial and senior roles has never been so great so it stands to reason that a compelling CV and brief but engaging covering letter has never been more important. It is your greatest sales tool; the one thing that stands between you getting to interview or falling at the first hurdle.
No matter how far you have already come in your career, you still need to prove that you are the right person for this job. And that starts with writing a, relevant, powerful CV. One that not only catalogues your past experience and achievements, but also demonstrates your individual talents, personality and management style today. Think of it as selling your own, personal ‘brand’. Think of it as the pointer for your future and not just a record of your past.
Employers often receive many CVs with similar qualifications and job titles so it’s vital to make yours stand out from the crowd. It’s not what you do, it’s how you do it that makes you unique so don’t be afraid to give real and robust examples of the particular role you played in a success story, or how you managed a challenging situation. Percentages and figures are all well and good, but telling your personal story will have the biggest impact in terms of differentiating your CV.
At MBM we are happy to offer our assistance in helping you to compile your CV, or by just casting an eye over the final copy and adding value where we can. Below, we’ve listed some useful tips and layout advice to get you started, but please don’t hesitate to get in touch if you have any specific queries or concerns.
“Though no one can go back and make a brand new start, anyone can start from now and make a brand new end.”
Our Top CV Tips
Make more of yourself…don’t feel inclined to stick to the old ‘two page rule’ for your CV. At managerial level it’s likely that you will need more space to showcase your skills and experience, but we would recommend a maximum of four pages.
Match your skills to the employer’s needs…when you write your CV, tailor it to the specific job you are interested in, matching your experience and achievement examples as closely, but honestly, to the job spec as possible.
Make your CV look clean, concise and easy to read…use a professional, universal, web-friendly typeface such as Arial or Times New Roman; layout in logical order with bold headings and short bullet points; use the same style and layout throughout.
Avoid…boxes; talking about yourself in the third person; unexplained career gaps (explain what you were doing during this time, e.g. travelling, renovation project, studying); images, borders and graphics; jargon and abbreviations.
Every CV should contain:
- Full Name
- Personal information - make yourself easy to contact. Add home/mobile/email addresses as well as home address. If you are willing to relocate then make sure you add this.
- Personal statement-open up with a strong, confident, positive opening statement.
- Work experience: Always place jobs in a chronological order starting with present job first, working backwards.
- Present job use present tense in terms of your brand and personal unique selling points. For previous roles, ensure you change to past tense. Clearly and boldly, include company name, dates of employment, followed by title. Then bullet point responsibilities. After responsibilities have been clearly and articulately bullet pointed. End with title "achievements" followed with clear achievements gained in each role. Do this for each position.
- Training: Add relevant training courses attended.
- Hobbies and interests
- Reference details or references can be provided on request