Killian O’Leary, Partner with Barden’s IT Practice, takes a closer look at CV profiling with a focus on how the structure and content you decide to include can ultimately bring you ‘career success’.
Read on for some examples and top tips on how you can prepare a winning cv, in today’s new normal.
Before we get into the detail there are a few essentials you need to keep in mind…
- Never send a CV for a job without getting a second opinion first.
- Including a professional picture is a growing trend, and is a good one…it helps to build familiarity.
- Your headline is vital…make sure to catch the attention of the reader early.
- Use content
- Focus on keywords that are mentioned in the job you are applying for. Recruiters use keywords to find related profiles. This is a good way to increase the chances of your CV being found. So integrate relevant keywords throughout your CV. Look at current Job Ad’s in your field to find out what keywords you might use.
- Mirror your CV content with that of your LinkedIn.
Don’t worry if your CV is over 2 pages. In 10 years of recruiting I’ve never seen someone NOT get a job because their CV was 3-4 pages long.
If you are highly-experienced then the likelihood of you being able to condense all your achievements into 2 pages is low & you’ll ultimately sell yourself short!
When it comes to putting your CV together use the following layout and you can’t go wrong. I’ve also included some top tips you can use to structure each of the different sections.
This is like a cover note, structure it wisely to elevate your pitch.
Don’t use up space by stating you’re a ‘good communicator’, ‘self-motivated’, ‘good team-player’. These are too generic to feature here!
Highlight what’s unique to you…the things the next job applicant cannot possibly say about themselves. Don’t be modest!!
It should also include:
- Your Name
- Headline – for example ‘Immediately available marketing professional with experience of working within multinational organisations.’
Personal Profile Section
- Highlight what you have been focused on for the past couple of years.
- What are you looking for in your next role and where specifically you see yourself adding value.
- This all builds familiarity of your thought process for the reader!
- Look to link in your skills with the role you are applying for. Cross-reference these with the jobs specification and if you have the skills required then make sure they are jumping off the page here in this section for the ready.
- Again, this is your ‘Sales elevator pitch’…it’s not a time to be modest about your skills and achievements!
- Set the tone early in your CV.
- Company Name, Job Title
- Dates (Make sure these are consistent with your LinkedIn profile work dates – that’s vital!)
- Responsibilities / Achievements (Always use bullet points – ideally 7-8 is sufficient unless you have been in a role for 20 years…then more is acceptable!)
- Use action words to start each sentence, veer away from mundane words such as ‘carried out’ etc.
- Instead use more positive and action based language like ‘implemented’, ‘initiated’, ‘actioned’, ‘succeeded’…etc.
- Take some time to retrospectively look back on your achievements, those times when you felt you did a great job, pleased a client or added value to a project.
- Take some time to think about moments when you made your managers life easier and solved a pain point. It’s vital you elevate yourself through the language and content you use in your role descriptions.
- Repeat for your previous roles, and ensure to list in chronological order.
Make sure to include course names, institutions, dates and highlight specific modules studied, emphasising those that relate to the job in question.
Type out some if they are already on your LinkedIn profile, and mention that additional references are available upon request.
If you are working on your CV and need some help and advice don’t hesitate to get in touch with me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Having worked and trained with a number of international businesses, Killian moved into recruitment in 2011 and has held a number of leadership roles, both locally and nationally, since. Killian is a founding member of Barden’s IT recruitment practice, is a subject matter expert in Cyber Security (Cloud, Network, Infra, O/t) & Senior Tech careers, is a qualified and active career coach and advises CIOs and tech leadership teams on attracting and retaining world class talent. Get in touch with Killian at email@example.com.