Updated: May 15
Here it is the cold hard truth.
Most CVs I have seen in the last few weeks are generic, uninformative and do not reflect my client's actual value. My clients are lucky or at least smart; they speak to me first before they start their job search process. I can quickly assess that the women before me are doing themselves a disservice. Together through the power of brainstorming and creating compelling stories, we can quickly create and optimise a CV that instantly urges the hiring manager and recruiters to take action.
Think of it this way; What if your CV is the first and only point of contact between you and a recruiter? How do you create that warm virtual handshake that compels recruiters to call? How do you ensure that you are adequately showing up as an employee of value?
The economic impact of the Coronavirus means that more job searchers are competing for recruiters attention. The competition is fierce, and recruiters are only filling essential positions.
It's vital that your CV is doing all it can to get you in front of the best recruiters and that it is telling decision-makers that you can resolve problems and create immediate impact.
So for this article, we will focus on what recruiters look for in a CV, by providing you with 3 CV hacks and a BONUS that will you ensure you stand out in the job market.
#CVhack 1. Create a Great Hello
Aggregate Your Experience
Your career profile objective is to create a high-level view of who you are. It is your opportunity to set the tone and create a warm welcome for the recruiter that is reading it.
What to include in your career profile?
Depending on your experience, your career profile should be no longer than five sentences. Going over five sentences, you run the chance of losing the recruiters 6-minute time span.
(a) Aggregated years of experience- The recruiter is looking for years of experience or breadth of expertise.
Here is how the first sentence may look for a Marketing Professional.
"An award-winning Marketing and Communications Manager with ten years of experience leading international campaigns and internal communications for multi-million companies across diverse industries".
(b) Area of expertise- Your career profile should instantly address the needs of the position. Always refer back to the job requisition to gather what the main prerequisite of the role is. If you have a specific skill set, then emphasise how you have used your skills to solve a problem. Your goal is to prove you are an expert in your particular niche.
"Spearheaded due diligence for 1.1million joint venture, identifying key risk factors and forecasting investment visibility."
The Financial Analyst has quantified their skill- set, adding impact and value to their point.
(c) Relevant Skills- Are your skills pertinent to the role in question? Research the industry, and highlight the top 3 skills the position is after. If you are a career changer, make sure to do a skills audit and be able to articulate how your transferable skills are applicable.
Check out out the below example for a Sales Manager looking to apply for a Junior Accountant role.
"My excellent networking skills have provided my team with vital client leads, and my ability to develop relationships has resulted in 18% increase in business renewals for my current organisation. My meticulous attention to detail and excellent organisation skills would be an asset to your Accounting department".
The job candidate has described how they will leverage their transferable skills to add value to the employer's company. Start thinking about how your soft skills can be utilised in other industries.
The best career profile empathizes with the reader and plants seeds of what's to come.
# CVhack 2. Do Your Math
Quantify Your Achievements
Another way to impress a recruiter is to use numbers in your CV. What does that mean to you? You have to provide straight facts in your prior experience. Instead of saying "I helped my company make target", you should quantify your experience "I created three new tools that helped my company save 20% cost and increase revenue by 15%."
Here are some more examples that you can easily replicate for your CV depending on your industry and how your success is measured.
✔Customer Service "Maintained a 95% customer satisfaction rating".
✔Social Media Manager “Increased social media following and engagement by 150% on average per client in the first three months of collaboration".
✔Senior Talent Manager " Developed new enhanced focus on social media to increase internal and external referrals by 35%".
✔Retail Brand Manager "Achieved an average sales increase of 20% in the first 90 days at an underperforming Flagship store".
✔Sales Director "Developed robust pipeline (£2M) within 90 days of arrival".
✔Digital Marketing Executive "Conducted A/B testing on paid Facebook ad campaigns, boosting conversion by 140%".
✔Senior Data Scientist "Perform market analysis to achieve objectives, increasing sales by 24% efficiently".
Think about the metrics that are used to gauge the success of your job, and what are the expected outcomes? The more interesting and specific the details, the more likely you will be to pique a recruiters interest.
Remember your CV is a marketing document designed to sell your skills and strengths rather than portray a bio.
Include and highlight specific achievements that present a comprehensive picture of your marketability.
#CVhack 3. Choose Your Words Wisely
Every job description leaves clues. Taking it from the amount of CVs I have seen lately, I can safely assume that some job seekers fail to understand "said" clues. Which is understandable! These clues in recruitment language are known as keywords.
While reviewing CVs, recruiters ensure that they see these keywords at first glance.
If your CV fails to reproduce these keywords, then you have every chance of being rejected.
✔Review the Job description and carefully identify 10/15 prime keywords.
✔Modify your CV and make sure you include these keywords throughout your experience.
✔Don't keyword stuff. Look at the first three keywords in a job description, and create short, compelling short stories around those words.
✔The more often keywords appear high up in the CV, the better.
✔Make sure sought after keywords appear in your CV job title.
✔Finally, make these keywords BOLD; it will catch the recruiters attention immediately.
Let's take this CV application for a "Senior Marketing Manager."
Improve the performance of email marketing and identify the enhancement opportunities to maximise ROI.
Analyse and improve customer satisfaction with emails based on improved knowledge and insight gained from web analytics tools such as.....
Monitoring and reporting on external email campaigns which led to an increase in.......
Take the time to highlight and bolden relevant keywords to create further impact.
Your CV needs to cater to applicant tracking systems, recruiters and the company hiring team simultaneously, with each having a different plan. Make your life easier by doing what's asked of you in the job description. Adapt the keywords on your LinkedIn to maintain consistency and relevance.
Embed as many keywords as you can into your LinkedIn headline.
#Bonus Bring it all Together
LinkedIn and maintaining your personal brand
As some of you may know, I worked as a recruiter for many years. My job was to help my clients find talented and qualified candidates for open positions. I like every other commercially minded recruiter actively headhunted professionals on LinkedIn and other social media platforms. It never paid to sit around and wait for CVs.
So as a job seeker, what does that mean to you? Start looking at LinkedIn as a valuable tool for marketing your career. LinkedIn allows you to share your professional narrative with an extensive network of people. A strong LinkedIn profile can help explain who you are as an employee, what your accomplishments have been, and where you seek to go.
A concise and compelling headline with a clear, consistent story will also help you to brand yourself as an expert and lead to conversations with people who make the hiring decisions.
By default, LinkedIn populates your LinkedIn headline with your current job title and employer. Most professionals do not realise that they can turn their headline into a value proposition.
✔Show Your Value- or you're so what- Think of why a recruiter or hiring manager should stop and take a good look at your LinkedIn profile.
"PMO with ten years experience- known for successfully inspiring leadership and trust, leading to complex projects being delivered on time and within budget".
The above LinkedIn headline tells me that you are an effective communicator who can influence your team through strong leadership and trust.
✔Speak to Your Target Audience- What will compel a talent manager at a tech start-up to send you a LinkedIn message. What do they care about? Your headline should always be addressing problems you can solve.
Let's say I am looking for a Digital Marketing Manager who can generate brand awareness for my new b2b SaaS product aimed at 20-35 year old's.
This LinkedIn headline would catch my eye.
"Digital Marketing enthusiast who inspires and motivates businesses on how to leverage new technologies and digital marketing to stand out from the noise and reach the millennial and generation Z consumers".
If you are currently in job search mode, you would be well advised to see your CV as only one form of outreach.
Think about how you can reach out to employers through career prospecting and virtual informational interviews.
if you are new here then welcome my name is Anya 0′ a qualified Career coach, job search strategist, recruiter and personal branding consultant. I help ambitious professionals like you become more visible in the market place, so you can get hired faster.
I also go LIVE every Thursday from my Facebook page to answer career-related questions.
I am also here to help you, especially if you have lost your job due to the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic or if you are feeling insecure or unsure about your next career move.
Book now for your complimentary 1-1 clarity firstname.lastname@example.org