Tips on creating an impressive CV

Kashmir Cooper

Kashmir’s channel director at global leaders in touchscreen solutions, Elo, where she’s responsible for managing distribution and driving the company’s strategy with channel partners. Elo provides interactive digital signage and digital display technologies to businesses across a range of industries including retail, hospitality and gaming, offering them the opportunity to merge online and in-store activities to enhance the customer journey.

Before joining the Elo team, Kashmir was director of channel partners and strategic alliances at Displaydata and distribution manager at global business services, technology and document management company, Xerox.

Here, she outlines her top tips for creating an impressive CV and how to succeed in an interview and a career.

Lay your professional cards on the table

A DISC grading is a personal assessment tool that measures dominance, influence, steadiness and conscientiousness in the workplace. It’s a really useful thing to have on your CV as it helps you become more self-aware and improve working relations. If you’re aiming for a senior role, I would suggest mentioning your leadership style on your CV and if it’s something more junior, always be ready to prove how you’re a team player.

Google your job title

Don’t try and reinvent the wheel – there will always be someone who’s written your job title and requirements better than you have and in a common language for your industry. Think about how you meet these requirements and why therefore, you’re an ideal candidate.

Brand You

I like to think of myself as a brand and both my CV and interview material are in line with my individual style. There’s nothing worse than a boring CV, so look up interesting CV formats that reflect your personality and brand. Whether it’s using your favourite colours or contextualising fonts to mirror the industry you work in, (e.g. digital fonts for a digital role), this will give a recruiter an idea of what you’re like as a person and make you stand out from the crowd. I’m also a big fan of the presentation tool, Prezi, which creates engaging power-points ideal for impressing your potential employers in an interview.

Find a decent recruiter

Having the right recruiter in your corner is crucial to landing your dream career. A good recruiter will be able to answer all your queries, be honest and only send you to roles you’re truly interested in, or you’re fully qualified for.

Why this company?

You know you’re capable, but why do you want this particular role? Think about what it is that makes this company different from your current place of work, other places you’ve applied for, or the company you see yourself working at. Sometimes the grass isn’t greener on the other side, so make sure you’re making the move for the right reason, at the right time and match what you want to achieve. Whether it’s a company’s clients, products and services or general work ethic, all these things will be important factors in your day-to-day working life, so it’s essential they work for you.

I’d also advise taking a look at your interviewer’s LinkedIn profile or Twitter feed. It’s always handy to find out about their character and areas of interest before turning up to interview, so you have an idea of what they might ask and can prepare responses. However, don’t memorise every point on social media – it might come across a bit creepy…

Why you?

Think about how you can show why an interviewer should pick you over other applicants. Similar to your CV, you should put your personality on display in an interview. It’s always important to show you have the ability to be client-facing and personable as well being a diligent and experienced worker.

What will you have achieved after 30, 60 and 90 days in a new role?

Setting out what you hope to have learnt or achieved after the first 30, 60 and 90 days in a job is a great way of demonstrating what you know of the industry, your approach, the company aims and your own personal goals. This also gives you the opportunity to draw on previous experiences, such as overcoming a challenging scenario or a particularly significant achievement.

Take care with your own social media

It’s something parents are warning their children a lot about these days – be careful what you put on your individual social media platforms. It’s not just your friends that can have a sneak peek at your profile, and it’s very easy to find anyone else’s. An embarrassing photos, video or a comment could come back to bite you in a couple of years as an interviewer is likely to look you up on social media and form a judgement.

Time out can be a good thing

If you’re asked to explain any gaps in your employment in an interview such as a sabbatical or maternity leave, try to consider the positives you can take from having time out and how you integrated back into work. For example, having a baby requires forward planning, or travelling might have been a chance to reflect and self-develop and looking after a relative would require routine and compassion. There’s definitely value to be taken from any kind of time out, it’s just about putting a positive spin on it!

Learn from a bad interview experiences

If an interview isn’t what you expected it to be, have the confidence to walk away. Or if you didn’t perform to the best of your ability and the outcome isn’t what you were hoping for, make sure you ask the interviewer for feedback afterwards. That way, you’ll know where you went wrong and won’t make the same mistakes in future interviews.

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