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The Perfect CV Everytime.....

by Guy
Date: Oct 2009
 
I have been working in sales & marketing recruitment for 13 years and without doubt the question I am asked more often than any other by job seekers is “What do you think of my CV?” If I am honest, it is a question that always catches me on the hop and my response, as well as generally being politician like in its tenor, usually includes the phrase “well it got you in front of me!” I sometimes think this sounds a little glib (it’s not meant to) but on reflection it may be a clue to unlocking the secret of the Perfect CV.
 
With application rates currently higher than ever, landing your ideal sales, marketing or creative job is a real challenge. To do so you will need to be at the very top of your game at every stage of the process, including and perhaps most importantly when it comes to writing your CV. Why? Have heard the cliché “you have to be in it to win it”; well never could a truer word be said than of the recruitment process and a well written CV is your way in! A document that grabs the attention of your reader and motivates them to act positively, rather than simply putting it on the ever growing reject pile, means you are into the mix.
 
Does the perfect CV really exist and if so what defines it – simply put it is a CV that guarantees you a call back or, even better, an interview - nothing more nothing less. If you have spent hours deliberating over which font to use you have probably wasted your time - so long as it is clear and easy on the eye it doesn’t really matter if you use Arial or Avenir LT 55 Roman. When it comes to your CV, content is king and style is absolutely no substitute for substance.
 
Presentation plays a part but your CV is not a work of art to be admired, put in a glossy binder and treated with reverence. It is, or should be, a working document, dynamic, flexible, never finished (until your career is over) and most importantly, whatever your reader needs it to be to assist their decision making, which may mean it needs to change on an application by application basis. Think of your CV as a means to an end, if you can get into this mindset you are on your way to creating something that passes for the Perfect CV.
 
If we accept the function of your CV is to get you in front of the interviewer, what can we do to increase our chances? Make the readers job easy for them; simply tell them what they want to hear. This doesn’t mean fabricating the truth, far from it, it means what information about you will be of greatest value to your potential employer - identify and emphasise that. If you do this, how could the reader, who will undoubtedly be wading through a whole host of applications resist adding you to the “yes” list. Making the effort to tailor your CV may sound like a lot of work but greatly increasing your application to interview ratio will surely justify the time invested. After all we are talking about some minor editing, a few key phrases, bullet points or work examples, not starting from scratch time after time. It is also worth considering if you are struggling to identify reasons why you are suitable for a particular role, that maybe you shouldn’t be applying for it in the first place? It is easier than ever to make applications, particularly online but this in itself isn’t a good enough reason to adopt a blanket approach to sending out your CV however keen you are to move your career forward. Also no one enjoys rejection, so reduce the possibility by making less but higher quality applications.
 
So does the perfect CV exist? Yes but like anything of beauty never for very long, or until your next application.
For more advice or assistance with your job search contact a specialist sales or marketing consultant via email or on 0121 585 6079

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