At Euro Executive, we see a lot of CVs every day and we know what sets a good CV apart from a really great CV. We also know that the fear of sitting down to update a CV is without a doubt the single biggest obstacle that prevents people from actively working towards getting a new role and getting the career that they want and deserve. When in reality, your CV is just a 2-3 page document summarising the key tasks from your previous roles, your education and skills.
However, a strong CV will tell a story. It will show movement through roles, responsibilities and upskilling. To get to a CV that you are happy to send to recruiters and hiring managers, it will have gone through a few drafts and edits. This will definitely stand to you in the long run and can massively increase the chances of securing an interview.
Below are some simple tips and tricks from us that we believe will give go a long way to helping your CV stand out from the crowd.
Your starting point
- If you haven’t looked at your CV in a few years, the best thing to do is to either open a new document on your PC on take out a pen and paper and start with your current role.
- Create a bullet point list with all of your current roles and responsibilities. If you can find your job description (you might have to search through old emails to get to it) this can also help as a starting point.
- If you have moved internally or have been promoted internally, create a bullet point list for all of these roles. If you have changed roles and moved companies, do the same thing and create a bullet point list for each role.
- Make sure that the dates of when you started a new role are accurate.
- Start with your most recent / current role first and work backwards making a bullet point list of everything.
Refining your experience
- With your bullet point list, begin to filter out the key responsibilities and the big projects that you worked on.
- Literally circle what you consider to be the most important responsibilities and most impressive projects.
- These points then form the summary for that role.
- Next, have a quick look at a job description for a role that you would consider applying for and compare it to the summary that you just completed.
- Does any of the wording in your CV need to be tweaked to align better with the job description?
- Repeat this for all of your roles
Your Personal Profile
A personal profile consists of a few sentences are the very top of your CV which summarise your skills, experience and qualities or values. It is the first thing that a recruiter or HR manager will read, and can really help make your CV stand out.
When writing your profile, just remember the following: Keep it short and true.
If you find this difficult, think what one of your good friends or a trusted colleague would say about you. If it helps, write it down in bullet points first, and then you can expand later on when you have worked on more of your CV.
However, if you are applying for a broad range of roles, be sure and tweak the profile to align with the required skills and experience for each role. The thought of it might seem a little off putting, but the results will speak for themselves.
You might have edited and tweaked your CV and have a flawless list of roles and responsibilities, but if the formatting is not consistent, this will make it harder to read and could possibly be passed over.
A quick formatting checklist:
- Are you using the same font all the way through?
- Are the sentences evenly spaced out?
- Are you using the same font size for all headings?
- If you are using bullet points, are they all aligned correctly?
- Is there enough space between sections to allow the reader to differentiate between them?
Numbers, statistics, measurements
When talking about projects that you worked on, or any achievements, try and quantify it in some way. For example, if you worked on a project valued at €150m, write that on your CV. Likewise, if you reduced waste by 10% or if you increased sales by 20% then state that on your CV.
Proofing and editing
Congratulations on getting a draft done! At this stage, it’s best to print out a copy of your CV and to leave it for a few days.
With fresh eyes, read over the hard copy of your CV again and look for spelling errors, typos and anything that doesn’t look or sound right.
If you have a family member or a good friend who is a good spot-checker, ask them to read over your CV. You’d be surprised how many times we in Euro Executive notice small typos or errors in CVs when we read them for the first time.
As you can see, your CV is just like any other document. It takes a bit of thought, some editing and a few drafts. But once you have gone through these steps, there is no doubt that you will have produced the best version of your CV and all of your roles, responsibilities and skills will be accurate and up to date thereby increasing your chances of getting called for interview.