What Makes A Great CV?

Curriculum Vitae – a Latin expression that can be loosely translated as “the course of my life”, are two words that can strike terror and panic into the most polished of job seekers. One of the toughest parts of any job search can be writing a CV with many dreading the thought of having to condense their careers and collective experience into a two or three page document that accurately reflects who they are and more importantly where they want to be.

You know your own background so well, yet committing your professional life, skills and experiences to paper can seem like such an onerous task. However as a selling tool, it is the single most important document you possess, providing an overview of the path your career has taken up to this point and clues as to what you are capable of doing with your career in the future.

Whilst it’s a well worn cliché, a good CV won’t get you a job, but a bad CV won’t even get you an interview. Your success at getting in front of prospective employers may be hampered by your CV and how it represents you right now. Here we’ll explain why this may be the case and how turning a good CV into a great one can infinitely improve your prospects.

At Campbell Rochford, we believe that great CV’s are tailored and job specific. That means that you may well require several different versions of your CV depending on the variety of positions you’re applying for and the skills and experiences you wish to highlight in each. This will take some time and effort but by utilising our industry knowledge and inside track of the relevant companies, this can be achieved relatively painlessly and we can help you identify what key information you should be highlighting.

In today’s market, the reality is that most top hiring managers will give your CV a 30 second scan to identify if it fits their requirements. But how do you choose which skills, knowledge and experience you should be highlighting to them (clues may be found in the job description) and how should you present this to attract the best employers and opportunities.

Great CV’s are different. Whilst there are significant resources available online and numerous CV templates, designs and formats to be obtained with a few clicks of a mouse, we believe that homogenised CV’s don’t always achieve the right results.  When you think about it from an employer’s perspective, they’ve got an urgent vacancy to fill and received 20 CV applications, all of which are virtually identical. How do they decide which candidates to interview if there are no discernible differences between each CV?  Every candidate is different and each of has their own story to tell, so you should be taking this opportunity to advertise your own unique characteristics and skills that make you special and we can help you achieve this.

Your first objective in preparing your CV is to make it as navigable and as easy as possible for the employer to find the key information they will require to ascertain your fit for the role. If the employer has trouble matching your skills and experience with their job requirements, your chances of getting to interview have dramatically decreased. By utilising our expertise, we can ensure that your CV gets the attention it deserves and increase your chances of getting called for that interview.

Great CV’s are structured and easy to read. They should ideally be in reverse chronological order, concise but not skimp on detail. It’s amazing how much more information you can glean from a jobseeker at interview, that more often than not isn’t contained within their CV. Never assume that you can cover off the additional details at interview because you might not get that chance. The tiniest of details could be all it takes for an employer to make a split second decision on your candidacy and to give yourself the best chance of success you want a CV that addresses all of their basic requirements for that job.

Great CV’s contain accomplishments that stand out. Too often when preparing a CV, the tendency can be to regurgitate the duties and responsibilities of the job description, without paying any attention to the achievements in that role. E.g. A Financial Accountant might include a bullet point stating that they “analysed the company’s performance, making recommendations to the board”. How much more impactful would that line be if they stated that they “analysed the company’s performance, identified five key areas in which to cut costs, which when presented to the board, resulted in an increase in profitability of €500k”. Too often the impact you had on a role gets lost in the ether and the person reviewing your CV has no idea whether you were good or great at your job. Even if your achievements don’t sound all that impressive to you, trust us as your recruiter to draw out the maximum impact from them, providing our clients with a performance yardstick by which you can truly be measured.

Campbell Rochford can offer any candidate a free, impartial and objective opinion on their CV and we treat each as a unique document in its own right. Our expertise means that we can readily identify what’s important and what’s not. Your CV is a snapshot of your experience and should be an accurate, honest account of your career to date, which we can present in the best possible light. Our tailored approach means that your CV will make you stand out when compared with others because it will be a call to action for any prospective employer, letting them know that you are their next “must interview candidate”. Your CV could be your passport to a career defining opportunity and with our help will embody everything good about who you are today and who you potentially will be tomorrow. So if you want a great CV, why not contact us today and avail of our expertise.

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