As an experienced or executive hire candidate, constructing a CV can be a challenging task. It can be difficult to determine what experience or skills to highlight, how much detail should be given and how many pages it should be. Here at Freshminds, we are frequently asked for advice regarding candidates CVs. As we are in direct contact with our clients, we have complete transparency of what they are looking for and what makes a winning CV. Below we have given some advice and guidance on how to construct your profile to optimise success in gaining a first round interview and hopefully landing your next role.
A personal profile is a great way, to sum up, your experience and skillset in a couple of lines, giving the reader a good overview of your career and suitability for the position you are applying for. This is usually the first thing people read so it gives you the opportunity to make a great first impression of the person you are and your fit for the role.
It is important to give your CV a structure and make it easy to read. Giving a clear timeline of your experience will make your CV easy to follow and means that the person reading it doesn’t have to spend long deciphering your relevant skills and experience. Clients like to see a timeline of your experience, so giving dates of the positions you have held is important to show your career progression and wealth of experience from each of the organisations you have worked for.
Also, make sure to include job titles in your CV. As although the job title may not reflect all of your responsibilities held in your position, it gives a good indication of your career progression and the level of responsibility you held during your time there.
Also be sure to include all education and qualifications you have gained along with your graduation date and clarify any time out of work you spent.
More than one page? Even better!
Candidates fear that their CV can be too long; however, our clients appreciate details in applicants CVs. When they are assessing your profile they are looking for your relevant experience, so giving examples of projects and brief summaries of your responsibilities give them a better idea of your pertinent experience for the role and your capability in succeeding in the position that you are applying for. Don’t be afraid to make your CV 2 or 3 pages long as clients will appreciate you taking the time to showcase key projects or industry-specific experiences that fit the requirements that they are looking for.
A gateway to communication
Although it is important to highlight relevant experience, you do not have to go into great detail in explaining this. Your CV is inviting the hiring manager or relevant person reading your CV to want to discuss your experience further. You want to spark their interest and invite them to want to talk about the projects or experience in more detail and bring you in for an interview. Give enough detail to offer a good summary of your experience and draw attention to your key skills and responsibilities, however, be sure to leave some information to share in your interview.
Have multiple CV’s
If you have a range of experience across different functions and industries and are unsure what to include and what not to include, create multiple versions of your CV. Depending on the role or opportunity you want to apply for, create a tailored CV that brings out your relevant projects, skills and experience from your career so far. As mentioned previously, you don’t want to make the reader hunt for the relevant or required experience for that particular role, so take out any experience that is less relevant in order to ensure all the information provided demonstrates your suitability to that particular position.
Do mention any interests, hobbies, personal projects or voluntary work you partake in outside of your work. This gives real insight into you as a person beyond your CV and career to date. One candidate I met described one of her interests as her “passion project” which I think sums up the purpose of including this in your CV. You want to be able to showcase your passions or interests that complement the job you are interested in. This also can help demonstrate the type of person you are and aid the person reviewing your CV to make a better judgement of your fit for the opportunity you are applying for.