When you apply for a job you probably agonise over your CV as you would like a potential employer to be impressed enough to offer you an interview. Initially, a recruiter will spend about a minute looking through each job application, but once you have been selected for an interview, your CV will directly influence the interview questions you will be asked so it is vital to your success to know how to write a credible CV.
Ensure that when you are considering how to write a CV you include in both your CV and job application letter the same competencies and skills required by the organisation. But often this is not enough. Why not? Because everyone lists their competences and skills and the words alone are meaningless. Take a look at the examples below:
‘I believe I am highly-skilled at encouraging teamwork and creating a good team spirit.’
‘I’m a very analytical and detailed person, skilled at problem solving.’
‘I am a very experienced teacher able to get the best out of my students.’
These are vague statements with unsubstantiated competencies. How can a recruitment manager or an interviewer compare your CV against those of other candidates with similar statements? You can avoid this common CV mistake and ‘stand out from the crowd’ quite easily if you provide a brief example which demonstrates your competency.
Go through your CV with a fine-tooth comb and substantiate any statements you make. Ask yourself how you did something that portrays a particular skill or character trait. Then it is essential to provide the evidence for how you have achieved this competence or skill. Descriptive words such as ‘innovative’ or ‘good with people’ are meaningless unless you can substantiate them.
Substantiate your strengths
‘I believe I am highly-skilled at encouraging teamwork and creating a good team spirit.’ This could become:
‘Through working together as a team, my colleagues and I have achieved a 20% increase in sales over the last 3 months, due to their being motivated to enhance their skills under my tuition, guidance and supervision.’
‘I’m a very analytical and detailed person.’ This might become:
‘Through my detailed analysis of the campaign, we redeveloped the strategy saving 60% in costs and three months’ efficiency, and saw an increase in sales of 35%.’
‘I am a very experienced teacher able to get the best out of my students.’ This could become:
‘I teach a mixed ability class of seven year-old children, six of whom have learning difficulties, and I have achieved the school’s highest SATS results.’
By writing your CV in this way, it is quickly apparent to the recruitment company and the interviewer exactly what your strengths are and how they can compare you to other candidates.