“You will never get a second chance to make a first impression”
Essentially your CV is a document which records your work life. It’s your personal advert, your ‘Sales Document’ or ‘Marketing Flyer’ and therefore it’s vital that you make an immediate impression, any silly mistakes and you could ruin your chance of being selected for an interview.
The first part of your CV is the most important and your ‘Personal Profile’ is placed at the top of your CV under your name and contact details. This is the part that will get read first and can be the decider as to whether or not the reader continues reading. In fact a recruiter will spend on average just 6 seconds scanning your CV before they decide whether or not to proceed with your application!
Your Personal Profile should be no more than a paragraph 200 words or 5-7 lines and relevant to the role you are applying. This is likely to mean that you will have to change your profile for each role you apply for and whilst this may seem a tedious task it can only add to your success.
You must ensure that your profile is interesting otherwise you run the risk of boring the reader who is then unlikely to read any further.
It is important for you to avoid generic terms and clichés for example “An excellent Manager who can work independently as well as within a team environment…Excellent communication skills both written and verbal…Experience includes a broad range of technical products and functions…”
If you are going to make a statement then it’s important to back it up with evidence, for example should your role require you to manage a team, how many people have you managed, are they all located in the same building or do you manage a team remotely in another country?
If you have technical product knowledge – what does this include? Is this experience relevant to the job you are applying?
A majority of applicants feel that they have exceptional communication skills, what level are you dealing with? Senior Management, the CEO or perhaps Board Level Executives? Do you present your ideas to these people and does your role involve you to produce executive reports on a regular basis?
Include countries and the names of blue chip companies that you’ve worked. Highlight any industry specific techniques that you’ve used and skills that you have. Perhaps you have an MBA, or you’re a qualified accountant or lawyer or you may have acquired Six Sigma or PRINCE 2 project management Skills, if so then this is the place for you to highlight these facts.
I would like to encourage you all to start thinking about your ‘KEY’ attributes, don’t be shy, and sell yourself. Approach someone you have worked with or who knows you well, an individual who can work with you to help you to identify your unique selling points. Include this information within your personal profile.
REMEMBER You will need to tailor your CV to the role you are applying, try to include key words that appear in the job specification or advert without making it too obvious. Much of this information should also appear in your cover letter.
A Corporate Mentor for the internal job market who offers employees an edge over their internal and/or external competition. With over 15 years’ experience, Nikki educates professional people to build on their personal brand, to sell themselves in the content of their CV and interview technique and to overcome personal barriers to fully recognise their strengths and achievements.