CV's have changed since you last looked for a job. Trust us.
These days you won't get onto the interview short-list by simply listing your basic job functions. Employers are not interested in your responsibilities, what you do from day to day. Employers want to know the value that you are bringing to the table. They want to know your successes, how you contribute to the organisation, how you show initiative, what makes you different from other candidates, and above all, how will you will meet their needs. That’s what they want to see.
So how do you go about showcasing your value?
It all comes down to accomplishments. Accomplishments are currency when it comes to CV's. The more you have, and the more applicable they are to the job you want, the greater your perceived worth. And you can leverage your accomplishments for job-search success at all stages of the process: CV, cover letter, interview and offer negotiations.
So before you even begin to think about writing your CV, here’s what to do:
1. Identify what your target employer needs
From the job posting, analyse the skills and experience your target employer is looking for. Also go to LinkedIn to find profiles of employees at your target company or within your target career. Study their skills and accomplishments. Can you see a high representation of certain skills? Use this research to define the “in demand” skills and experience for your target job.
2. List your accomplishments
Now start thinking about your workplace successes. How do your accomplishments meet the needs of your target employer? Take the time to list your former employers and for each one, write down the results you delivered that are most relevant.
If you are finding it tricky to pinpoint your accomplishments, here are some prompts to help you brainstorm all those terrific things you have done:
Once you have finished drawing up your list, look over each accomplishment and ask yourself, “so what?” Does the item you’ve listed truly characterise your abilities and your potential for contributing to your the next employer’s success?
Top Tip: To make updating your CV quicker and easier the next time you are looking for a new gig, start keeping track of your accomplishments the minute you start a new job. Keep a log in a little notebook, or on index cards, in a computer database, or on your smart phone or other device.
3. Communicate your accomplishments in a compelling way
You have defined the employer’s requirements and your accomplishments relative to those requirements. The next step is to transform those facts into a compelling story that communicates your value.
While crafting your story, keep the following in mind:
If you would like a professional to review your CV and help bring it into the modern world, I'm here for you.
My 60-minute 'CV Clinic' includes:
You can find all the details and make your booking here.
Melanie Fieseler is a Career Consultant and Director at Work Happy Mums, the go-to resource for return-to-work professional women and career advancers. We're building a better future for working mothers and the organisations they work for. Join our community and help both our families and businesses thrive.
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