Looking up and seeing the first bright, blue sky in weeks makes me wonder what some job seekers are thinking when they write their CV’s… I don’t know where the connection came from… but it did make me wonder… Recent CV’s I’ve seen have had a catalogue of refinements needed.
CV’s which have grammatical errors; are not brought up to date; don’t clearly identify their achievements but read like a long list of job descriptions which make them appear just like every other digital marketer out there. Yet when I talk with the individual, they’ve got a wealth to offer and really don’t appear to match the person I’ve just read about in their CV!
Don’t they realise that tailoring your CV is an opportunity to make the reader (who is hopefully going to be your future boss!) remember you. By making the CV read just like everyone else’s i.e. “strong team player with great communication skills” you’re not differentiating yourself from everyone else? This is the first introduction a potential employer will see of you and first impressions count!
A clear and punchy CV is what is needed – ideally no longer than 2 pages.
We start with a personal summary. By having a personal introduction you can tell the reader in a couple paragraphs why they need to meet with you. You do this by offering a quick overview as to who you are; highlighting professional skills, relevant qualifications, languages, educational qualifications and achievements you have made which make you applicable for this opportunity and company. This could be campaigns you have worked on – expressing your understanding of the industry, technical skills & experience you will already have and can bring to the table or results you have achieved i.e #1 Rankings, ROI etc. These are what catches an employers attention. Remember it’s all about the content!!
It’s also good in our industry to list your Social Media sites; blogs, profiles and portfolios where the reader can get a better insight into who you are and the work you’ve undertaken. Probably worth mentioning here- to be aware it’s more and more common for companies to check you out online during the hiring selection process; so do ensure anything traced back to you is professional and you’d be happy for an employer to view. A subtle hint from us is to ensure your Facebook Privacy Setting is turned to friends & family only whilst job hunting.
The next step is a chronological overview of your professional experience. Starting, most recent first (because this is the most relevant to an employer).. running through your employment history during your working life. also be sure to include both start and finish dates AND identify whether you were promoted whilst working in a company. Be sure to separate this out with relevant job titles as it shows career development and progression.
Including for each role details of responsibilities – people management, budget responsibility, named clients (or if uncomfortable doing this then at least industry sectors) and achievements i.e performance against budget, etc.
This will probably be two thirds of your CV; make sure it is accurate and reflects your career path comprehensively. If you’ve been freelancing, do give examples of the work you’ve undertaken. And if possible good reference quotes from your clients. (you can also do this on Linkedin, get recommendations from your clients & peers in the industry on your social media profile which a potential employer can view
Then onto education & qualification. This is where you get to brag about all the qualifications you’ve gained. Do pay attention and highlight the actual qualification and not the place you studied…which do you think is more important to an employer? PhD, MSc, BA Hons, HND are all of interest. Then dependent on how long you’ve been out in the industry as to whether you list your actual A level / GCSE subjects and grades. I recommend only doing this if you’re apply for your first job. Also consider what other training you’ve undertaken and if it could be relevant. Google Analytics, Google Adwords, Journalism Courses etc etc. You may consider highlighting these skills in your personal introduction if appropriate to the role you applying for.
I also approve of surmising your personal interests for the reader. Your CV is supposed to be representative of you, please don’t put the generate interests of reading, watching films and socialising…. what is it you like to do?? Be it playing retro games like Battle Ships , looking for the bargain pair of Christian Louboutin shoes (if there is a such a thing!) or running the Beating Line at a Pheasant & Duck Shoot…. all real examples!
Once you’ve got all this information together, you’ll most likely have a document which is looking pretty good. I don’t recommend over designing the layout, simple is always best (unless you’re a graphic designer and then by all means go to town)….It’s all about supplying the information for a decision maker so that they know whether you’re the right guy / girl for the job!
clockworkTalent’s recruiters have over 30 years experience in the industry. If you’re unsure of how to secure your next job move in digital marketing or want help with hiring; we’re able to offer advise and guide you. For the job hunter we’re experts in CV presentation, interview techniques, career path choices, offer negotiation and much more. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org or call 0774 7778390 to discuss.