A few things to avoid first.
- 1. Heavily designed CV’s and PDF files. Why?
Some companies use ATS (Applicant Tracking Systems) these have various filters to push aside non-suitable candidates. Now, some elements of that software cannot pick up design, logos, images, fancy fonts etc. Meaning your CV will end into some blackhole never even reaching the recruiters eyes! Substance over style – boring I know, but that’s the way it is
- 2. Writing in the 3rd person. EG ‘Sally is a 123 and has worked in XYZ, she can...’ Why?
Think about the end-user. They want to connect with you. By writing in 3rd person makes you less available.
- 3. Lengthy pages filled with copy and endless paragraphs. You want to land a 2page CV ideally
Ok, now those fundamentals are out of the way. Let’s shed some light on the narrative and purpose of your CV...
- 1. Your CV needs to land who you are, what you do and how you go about doing that. Typically, people are VERY good at writing the ‘thing’ the ‘task’ the ‘duty’ but always fail to explore the ‘HOW’ – this is the crucial hook for the recruiter to get an insight into your soft skills and personality.
Now you may be thinking, well why is this important? It is likely your CV will land at HR first; they are the keepers of the culture and essentially gatekeep who might ‘fit in around here’ so if you demonstrate this in your narrative. Boom, success! Example:
Standard bullet point: Responsible for training the team and delivering weekly product sessions (yawn, read this too many times today, the reader still has no clue who you are)
Outstanding bullet point: Amplified importance of training by initiating weekly product sessions to a diverse and driven team of 10. Confidently training in groups and offered 121’s afterwards to ensure knowledge landed as expected and was well applied to customers
Do you feel the difference there? I’m intrigued now. I’m excited and engaged by this person. He/she is highly engaged in their role and you can feel that! Strike another 2 or 3 bullets in this way and you’re flying. Forget listing out responsibilities; how many of your competitors will say the same thing? Everyone right? Leading me onto...
- 2. Dig deep on the 3-4 things that you did continually do well and just talk about those things. It might be regarding service levels, backed up by a mystery shop score. It might be people management and under your nurturing direction you’ve coached and promoted 3 people. It might be your diligent operational excellence which saw your store achieving the best audit of 2019 and you went onto deliver training to the area
- 3. Each of your bullet points should start with a word that sets you up as an achiever. Such as transformed/pioneered/established/led/spearheaded/revolutionised
Example ‘Established fantastic rapport with merchandise team. Having a sharp eye for product and extracting local market feedback, we partnered together on core range planning, further enhancing LFL performance’