What makes a great CV? – 2 differentiators to get you that job

Whats makes a great CV?  If you say great grades and educational achievement alone you’d be wrong. Nowadays, qualifications are minimum expectations (i.e. Without them you won’t get past the other large number of similarly qualified individuals) but they are not differentiators to help you secure the job.

Photo by Flazingo

Two things will differentiate you through your CV:
1. Accomplishments – what did you do and what was the impact/result of it. The world of work is entered around results so communicate in those terms.

For bonus points in the interview explain your goal, what the result was and anything you would do differently next time.  This shows you really understand what you are doing and why.  A lot of interview questions are asked in this style nowadays anyway, so this is a great way to plan ahead and prepare.

Top Tip: Don’t try and put too much extra detail into the CV as you need to keep it short and to the point.

CV/Resume = Summarise and catch attention with differentiators

Interview = Explain in detail so they understand you and want you to join their team

Not so well written examples for the CV:

  • Worked on xyz marketing project
  • Was team leader for fast food retailer
  • Completed an internship with Company Z

Great examples:

  • I held the role of lead marketer on the xyz project which exceeded our project target by 12%
  • As a team leader to 7 employees, I improved our customer service scores from A to B in 6 months
  • After securing a sought after internship with Company Z, I delivered project improvements of …….

2. Leadership, Personal & Interpersonal Skills – examples of where/how you have developed the ability to work effectively yourself and with others in challenging environments

Again for bonus points, don’t assume one example in isolation is enough.  Show that you are continuously improving – how have you developed, grown, improved (through deliberate practice).  In addition, showing a number of year on a specific activity shows commitment and resilience.  Organisations are always looking for drive and commitment to see things through to completion in the workplace.

Not so well written examples for the CV:

  • Was captain of the hockey team
  • Was in the Girl Guides/Scouts/Boy’s Brigade (or any other youth group)
  • Worked as a volunteer for XYZ

Great examples:

  • As captain of the hockey team, I organised all team events for 2 years and worked as a member of the school sports council.
  • During my 5 years in the Boy’s Brigade, I developed from position x to y, earning the annual ABC award
  • I volunteered for 2 years for charity XYZ as Saturday staff to learn more about the work environment and give something back to the community

These 2 areas will make a dramatic difference to the way your CV reads to a prospective employer.

Make yourself stand out, differentiate yourself!

Feel free to leave a comment below or email me at careeringtosuccess@gmail.com if you have any questions or feedback.

(Photo by Flazingo via flickr used under a creative Commons Licence)

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