7 Tips for writing a compelling CV
With the hiring market having swung firmly in the favour of the consulting employer, candidates are facing up to the stark reality that there are now many more candidates vying for each consulting job. In this instalment of my series on finding a job during the downturn, I’d like to give some pointers on how to write a compelling CV that grabs the attention of the recruiter – and propels you to the top of the “Must Interview” pile!

Fuente:   www.consultant-news.com    Fecha:   24.03.2009

Let’s start with that that goal in mind. The primary purpose of a CV is to secure you an interview, not to land you a job. How you perform at interview will determine whether you get the job or not. Whether you get the interview will depend on how much your CV excites the recruiter – and whether it ticks their boxes in terms of the profile of hire they are looking to make. Here are 7 Tips to make sure you’re submitting a compelling CV that will excite the recruiter and tick their boxes:

•1. Have you prominently included a 3-4 line career summary or "sales pitch" at the beginning of your CV, to attract the reader's attention and ensure their first impression is the one you’d want them to be forming?

•2. Have you adapted this pitch for each different role you are applying for, so that different strengths have been emphasised according to the role requirements? This is time-consuming, but investing in ensuring there’s a great fit between the recruiter’s key requirements and their first impressions of you will pay huge dividends when it comes to securing interviews.

•3. Do the key points that you want the reader to see when they first open the document stand out from the page? If you have a salary, education or professional experience that give your application instant credibility, are these selling points some of the first things the reader will see as they skim down the CV?

•4. Have you kept your CV objective, ie. talked about quantifiable and verifiable achievements, and kept to a minimum references to being a "great team player", "excellent leader" and suchlike (which can be claimed on paper by all candidates and as such will be given little consideration unless backed up with hard facts)?

•5. Have you personalised your email application so as to minimise the appearance that you are "mass-applying" to consulting vacancies? That means both addressing it to an individual where possible but also avoiding the temptation to copy and paste a stock email introduction into every application.

•6. Have you had a 3rd Party look at your CV to pick out shortcomings that may be glaringly obvious but that you haven't noticed? (seriously, no matter how good a candidate you are, this is worth doing – you’ll be surprised at what will jump out from the page when other people read your CV)

•7. Have you kept your CV concise, ideally shrunk down to just 1 page? It’s fine to add supplementary pages that document your project experience, client exposure, assignment wins, etc. but the core CV that is showcasing your academics and previous experience should usually be kept to a page so that a quick decision can be reached.

Lastly – and not strictly a CV-writing tip – have you spoken with (ie. sold yourself to) someone at the consulting firm or recruitment firm before sending them your CV, so that they are on the lookout for your application in their inbox? This isn’t always possible, but with the advent of online alumni networks and tools such as LinkedIn, it’s often possible to track down someone who will be involved in the decision-making process before your application is submitted. If someone is looking out for your application – or an existing employee has been enlisted to forward your application on to the recruitment team with some kind of endorsement – the chances of being interviewed are once again enhanced.