And that’s exactly our point. Why is your CV not jumping out to all these potential employers and shouting “interview me”? And how do you use that short career resume to give them an insight into who you really are?
A CV is a powerful tool that needs to work as hard as it can to get you to the next stage. It has to say it all – who you are, your skills and how employable you are – quickly.
Here are our Five Bs for a great CV:
1. Be Brief
Ideally your CV should be no more than two pages, three at the most. Any longer and it risks being put to one side for later – and never looked at again. Use bullet points to make it easy to read and refer back to.
2. Be Proud
If you’re a good salesman, with a great track record, make sure your CV says so. If you’ve smashed your target by 50% or you’ve added an extra £1m on your sales figures, shout about it. If you’re number two or three in the sales team, that’s a pretty good boast too.
Consider putting a personal profile or statement at the start of the CV mentioning your performance highlights.
3. Be Specific
If you’re a sales engineer, interviewers will want to know who you talk to as well as how you do it and your track record. It’s OK if you prefer to keep consultant and contractor names out of the CV but put something in there that will demonstrate your calibre, e.g. “I have worked exclusively with the top 5 biggest M&E consultants in London for the last 3 years.”
4. Be Honest
Did we really say that? Definitely. Don’t say you’re a Regional Sales Manager when you’re not; don’t imply you’re the top performing sales guy when you’re not; most importantly of all, keep your employment history factual. Don’t add years on or take two or three employers off because it didn’t last as long as you hoped. It’s a small industry – you’ll get caught out.
5. Be Relevant
Don’t be afraid to tweak your CV slightly for each job application (do remember to keep a copy of each version to refer back to). Your skills should match those of the job description as closely as possible and you may want to prioritise certain skills if you know a specific employer will think highly of them. When it comes to shouting about your talents, technical qualifications, awards for achievement and promotions should be top of the list and anything further back in your career history or relating to time spent in a different industry can be noted down in far less detail, if at all.