Great CV writing is more than you think. A well written CV must influence and persuade because we all know the story of Minnie the Moocher. Like most professionals, I have written more resumes than I can shake a stick at. I’ve read more CVs than I care to mention. Frankly, knowing what to put on your CV is an invaluable asset. Just think, search engines will pick up your credentials more quickly if you build a targeted profile on LinkedIn.
Learning how to write simple honest prose is almost a lost art. Most people cannot write well, let alone convince in a concise space. I admit, it is harder to let your personality shine through when you reduce your life to a series of bullet points. So why not take some pointers from the masters of content marketing?
Each time I assess a hard copy CV, I start shaking my head. Why the usual chronological list of events? Why do I not feel the person and the power the person can execute for a particular job? Where does this person’s UQ (read uniqueness quotient) stand out?
The reason is clear as moonshine: most CVs resemble cookies bought at a supermarket. They use the same tired words, share an identical structure, and read like the warning notices stuck in pharmaceutical products. Can you show how you react under adversity on a CV? Can you communicate the challenges you have overcome? What are your real accomplishments?
Think carefully: Do you own your career decisions (honestly)? How does a future employer interpret the usual catch phrases: team player, motivated, hard working, or innovative?
Why not try another approach? Examine the 4 Ps before putting pencil to paper: personality, performance, persistence, & persuasion. Pretend you’re Bill Clinton. Snake charm and seduce through tightly controlled prose. Make someone want to meet you. Short sentences work wonders. Support strengths with concrete outcomes. Write with no fear of rejection. Forget apologies. Do not be defensive.
Each stage in a person’s development will include and/or feature a different template to sell your expertise. Forget most online or book models. This is bog standard, and will not get your profile noticed.
Hard Copy Options
Which is better: a one or two page CV? Both have their advocates. Unless demanded, go for two. It will give you room to move. Assume the role you want to play. Express key attributes that are emotive and compelling. Use terms that prove that you can sell snow to the Aleutians. Forget the competition. You cannot control what someone else writes, but you can control what you do.
Take control. Reducing your life story to two pages might seem demeaning. Note however, that this is a game. Play the game, make a strategy, and keep the freshly squeezed OJ going.
Show your CV to people you trust. Get objective feedback. If you can obtain professional assistance, do so. Don’t stint. Career management is about gaining the tools to empower yourself. It is a perfect path to self-reliance. By doing so, your profile will stand out of a pile of rubbish like a diamond in the mud.
(If you enjoyed this post, please click the thumbs up icon. Be social & share!)
Article Title: Great CV Writing Is More Than You Think
Photographs: curated by ES
About The Author
Andrew Scharf shares enchanting stuff on the topics of marketing, innovation, talent development, coaching, enchantment, and craftsmanship. He is also the head Koi at CAREO, a career management consultancy under the WCW Group brand.
For further inspiration
Visit CAREO: Life In The Fast Lane