The first glimpse of your marketing potential that an employer will see of you is in your CV. The way that you market and sell yourself as the ideal candidate for the job in hand will mean the difference between your CV making its way to the top of the pile or languishing somewhere near the bottom. As with all successful marketing campaigns, your CV needs to match your features and benefits with the requirements of the job being advertised.
Below you fill find tips to improve and perfect your marketing CV.
Maximize the opportunity
One of the most important things to grasp when compiling a CV is to understand what the purpose of a CV is. It is simple to make the mistake of thinking that the CV is an opportunity to ‘tell them about myself’ – it is, after all, the story of your working life thus far. Yet, unfortunately, this is not the best way to view the role of a CV.
Instead a CV should be a device for showcasing skills and experience in the most effective way to a potential employer. It is important to ascertain what the employer is looking for, both in general and for a specific role. The CV should then be compiled with skills, experience and achievements that are relevant to the role emphasized. If you are genuinely interested in the potential new job, then spend some time reading through the job specifications and compiling your CV in a way, which mirrors your skills and experience in the light of the information provided.
Tick the boxes
Go through the job spec and write down four or five key attributes that the job requires. The spec will often include a ‘Person Profile’ which should be your first point of focus. Looking at this, in combination with the ‘Key Responsibilities’ or ‘Job Description’ section, try to decipher what the company is actually looking for.
The way one should be working through the job spec is by making a list of bullet points, for example:
With this list in mind, write down your main achievements over the course of your career beside the bullet points.
Then you can reorganize your CV chronologically and bring your achievements in these disciplines to the forefront, expanding on them, alongside any other key achievements that are specific to each role. Throughout this, really focus on the bullet points you made and question whether what you are writing is relevant to what the company is looking for, or if it is essential to their understanding of what you achieved during that role. Look at the spec for smaller, less important skills they are looking for and incorporate these into what you write.
The structure of a CV is an important subject and an aspect, which requires attention. Below you will find key points regarding the structure of your CV.
Address or no address?
Companies may reject you for living too far away, or you may be more attractive to them as you live nearby. Either way it is best to convey this information sooner rather than later, so we would recommend including your address on your CV, along with an email address and phone number.
Do you need to state this, or CV? Not really, yet it does no harm, so unless you are short on space, leave it in.
Marital Status and Age
These are unlikely to work for you, yet despite discrimination legislation, they can work against you – leave them off.
Chronological versus Skills-based
There are advantages to both, yet we believe that chronological makes more sense as it gives the reader a complete overview of your achievements during one role. Naturally ‘achieving a 150% increase in x or y’ is more impressive if it is one of many achievements. You can use a ‘Summary’ or ‘Profile’ to outline your key selling points
Names will suffice, dates are optional
Profile or Summary
A well thought-out set of bullet points (no more than five or six) can work well and instantly prompt a reader to pay more attention to your CV. Use either outstanding achievements or those related to the job spec.