Most recruiters write a report for their clients about the candidate, but most don’t actually edit the CV that the candidate has provided. This is important because the client needs to see how the candidate communicates and “sells” themselves.

Therefore, the CV is the most important document that a candidate has in the job search process. I often get calls from candidates asking what to include in a cover letter, but rarely get calls about what to include in a CV/Resume.

So, if this document is being sent directly to clients make sure you have produced a document that is top notch.

As a good CV is in essence a marketing document and the career transition involves two major processes:

  1. The strategic process – what role are you seeking, what direction do you want your career to go in?
  2. The marketing process – marketing the product (i.e. you, your skills and experience)

Therefore, spending time understanding what you are trying to achieve in your next career move will help dramatically improve the quality of the document.  A well drafted CV that highlights your achievements that are relevant for the position will make the reader feel more positive about your suitability for the role.

Often I will have to create an extensive report for my client’s to include pertinent information that is missing from a CV that I glean from an interview.  This is often fantastic quantitative information that accentuates the candidate’s achievements.

A benefit of spending time on your CV is an increase in confidence.  Very few people spend a long time focussing on their positive attributes. Some candidates that I have dealt with have reported a sense of achievement and boost to their confidence after spending a few hours focussing on their successes.  There are added benefits too – by spending time on your achievements, you will be better prepared to articulate these at an interview.  Having a good document in front of an interview will also enhance your sense of achievement.

 

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What to include?

This is a difficult question as it is often varied depending on the industry and job type, but as a general rule, listing specific achievements and quantitative information is much better than general qualitative data. I usually advise candidates to stay away from listing responsibilities that are obvious for the job title. For example:

Job Title: Sales Representative:
Responsibility:

  • Managing a sales territory
  • Calling on customers
  • Solution selling the product range

Rather say

Responsibilities:

  • Managing a geographical territory from Brisbane North to the Sunshine Coast with a customer base of over 100 customers and an annual budget of $3.2M
  • Growing the customer base from a start of 75 active customers to 103 current active customers with an increase in revenue of $250k

With technical roles such as engineering or Property development instead of saying: “Managing all aspects of a project” – say “Complete responsibility for a $180M commercial project in the city fringe from acquisition to sale”

Once the content of the resume is right, read it out loud to yourself to check for flow and feel, and always ensure that grammatical errors and spelling mistakes are eliminated.

If you are interested in more details on structure, let me know and I will respond with additional articles.

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