The Windmills Programme
Resource 14.1/Stage4/PAGE 1
Creating a winning CV
The chief way to sell yourself on paper is your CV. However there is no such thing as a perfect CV. Its chances ofsuccess or failure depend entirely on how far it meets the criteria, background and bias of the person reading it.When producing a CV, many people:•Fail to identify what the client (ie the employer) is looking for•Undersell and underestimate what they have to offer•Fail to provide the right evidence to support the skills and competencies•See rejection as negative and fail to ask for constructive feedbackWe have all made some of these mistakes in producing a CV but the CV in itself is not the only solution, it is ameans to an end.There are a number of steps you can take to help you create that winning CV:
Step 1 – Identify your client’s needs
Considering your employer as a client ensures that you take a good look at the production of your CV fromtheir perspective.The following guidelines show the practical steps that will ensure you are well prepared. Remember the more youput in, the more you get out.
READ THINK ACT
The job advert and specificationthoroughly so that you know exactlywhat it is they are looking forRead any company literature orpublicity material associated with therole. Refer to the website of theoriginal job advertisementRead your current CV. Are you happywith it? Does it fully reflect you as aperson and the skills youhave to offer?Read any professional journals,newspapers or current articles relatedto your field and the positionyou are going forRead a good book on how to writeand design a CV (sometimes acompletely different perspective canprovide food for thought)Ask yourself ‘How employable am I?’Think about the range of skills andcompetencies that are required – then consider how you can tailor yourexperience and skills to meetthose requirementsThink about the type of language that isused in the literature. What does it tellyou about the company/type of personthey are looking for?Think about ways in which it can beimproved. Think about your current skillsportfolio – are there ways to increaseyour chances of success? – consider what employers arelooking for within that field – are there any newqualifications/standards? – is it within a growth market? – are there any new developmentswhich would require differentskills and attributes?Think about the examples used withinthe book. Use it for ideas on: – layout – design – content – styleThink about the range of skills andthe evidence you have to support them.Just how employable are you?Write a clear list of your skills, qualitiesand experience that are essential for theposition – can you back them up withevidence? – create a skills portfolioRefer to your skills portfolio – is thelanguage the same? Is it positive andactive? Do you need to update the way inwhich you describe yourself and yourexperiences/skills?Perform a thorough review of yourcurrent CV against your skills and thoserequired by the position. Also, seekfeedback on your current CV fromcolleagues, specialists and career expertsAgain refer back to your current CVwith this in mind. Also, try to identifyanyone who works in a similar role /organisation and contact them todiscuss the job opportunity (plan what youneed to know before contacting them)Ask other people for copies of theircurrent CV. The more examples you havethe better. However remember this isgoing to be your personal CV – makesure it is a reflection of you. Rememberalso that you can learn form examples of‘how not to do it’ as well (see examplesof CVs in this document)Start to prioritise these skills. Identifywhat categories they fall into. Are thereany gaps that you need to work on?