How to Create the Best CV (It’s more than just a document)

Have you ever “Googled” your name?

If you are applying for a job, that should be your first step. Your CV is no longer restricted to 2 pages (unless industry standards dictate otherwise, it should be 2 pages at most), these days your CV includes your digital footprint. Fortunately, most people recruiting don’t have the time, resources or inclination to do a full FBI search. So a superficial search and scrub should be fine.

What comes up on the first page of a search in News and Images?

The next thing that becomes part of your CV are your social media profiles including Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter. So many things can potentially prevent him from getting interviewed, including a couple of spelling and formatting errors, as well a lack of suitable profile picture pictures. Things that just hadn’t been an issue while at School or University.

Now that you are more ready, it is time create your CV, this needs to be more than revising a CV you did as a high school project. This needs to be the best thing you have ever created. Get 5, 10, 20 people to review it. You have to assume that the person potentially hiring you will only look at it for, let’s say 10-30 seconds. Virtually all of the people I have coached on Career Strategy needed a significant revamp of their CV, in most cases it was removing more than adding.

Remember it is a process of exclusion, so leave out anything that creates questions. It needs to be bulletproof.

What do I mean by process of exclusion?

Recruitment initially is a process of exclusion and usually luck plays a big role (although, you make your own luck?).  I was once sifting through CVs with two managers. The first wanted to interview a “strong” candidate because she went to the same “good” university as him and had done a graduate programme at a top company. The other manager wanted to interview a candidate because he had done grade 8 piano and would probably be interesting to work with. Both potential candidates could probably do the job, but both selected for an interview, would have been rejected if they were in the other manager’s pile of CVs.

Anything explained here is obviously just my opinion, with different industries and people having different preferences and best practices. Key is to make sure that your CV is the best reflection of you.

For more on creating a Career Strategy check out the Targeted Approach in our Academy.

Course – I need a job. HELP! The 5 Steps to Developing a Career Strategy

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