Is your CV hitting the mark or on the ropes?
Whether you’re a self-employed contractor, working for a consulting company or just looking for a new opportunity, in this competitive market you need to be able to sell your skills and abilities to a prospective client or employer.
As a career coach, having worked with many IT professionals, I find lots of people struggle with communicating what they can deliver.
Here are just three ways you can improve your CV to get the upper hand…
- Target the reader; think about who will be reading the CV & making the decision about whether to meet with you or engage your services – will it be a CEO or General Manager, or someone from HR, Finance or IT? It may need to be relevant to both technical and non-technical readers. Your first language should be English, not jargon! So keep jargon and abbreviations to a minimum except where they are mentioned in a job ad or known to be relevant to that assignment – some recruiters use word-recognition scanning to review CVs so check through the ad carefully if you have one. If you wish you can include a list of relevant certifications or technologies you have worked with as a specific section.
- How do you measure up? Whether you’re a flyweight or heavyweight should be apparent from your achievements – make sure you show relevant achievements that demonstrate measurable results and the actions you took and skills you used to achieve them.
- Get functional. Your CV is not a system specification, or your life history – it’s an advertisement for you! If you have a lot of experience and projects you’ve been involved in, you may need to narrow these down to just the relevant ones – often prospective employers can’t see the wood for the trees. It can be tough to do this and maintain the flow for the reader, so consider using a “functional” CV rather than a “chronological” one. This means you have a heading for each of your top 5 or 6 key skillsets, e.g. Project Management, Analysis, Technical Design etc (including non-technical skills where appropriate, e.g. Communications Skills, Focus on Results, People Management). Under each heading then you list your best and most relevant achievements for the proposed role. You still need to list your overall career history separately as a summary with dates though, so the prospective employer or client can see your progression.
So take time out to review your CV – you may need to start from scratch. Where possible stick with the old one-two (pages that is) ; this is easier for the reader than rambling through 4 or 5 pages.
You can make your CV a knockout and really go the distance !
(With apologies to all boxing fans…)
Feel free to get in touch if you want more info on how to revamp your CV
Liz Barron, Realize Coaching – Dublin firstname.lastname@example.org