CVs are difficult documents to write and everyone will have their view on what a good CV looks like.
Finding the best way to show your personality, highlight your achievements and promote yourself for a role is a tough thing to get right. So whether you are starting out as an interim or wanting a few pointers for updating your CV, we have put our favourite tips below:
1. Make it impactful
Your CV is the first thing a potential client will see of you, so make it impactful. It needs to scream to the client why you are suitable for the role and why they should hire you. Make it easy for them to say ‘yes’ by having the most important and relevant information on the first page and very easy to spot when glancing at the document. An achievement box that sits under your profile is a good way to highlight relevant achievements from across your career that will interest the specific client.
2. Make it personal
In a competitive environment you want your CV to make you stand out and for it to be an extension of your personality. Use the opening ‘profile’ paragraph to highlight your management style, value proposition and what motivates you. Use adjectives that are personal to you and reflect how you will come across in person.
3. Make it clear
Clients want to read a CV that makes it very clear as to how you can support them. They want to see a coherent narrative through your roles and achievements that give them confidence you have done this before. So ensure your CV presents a convincing argument to support your value proposition and relevance to the types of roles you want to take on.
4. Examples and outcomes are vital
Compliment your role duties with relevant achievements and outcomes. The acronym STAR: Situation, Task, Action, Result, is great for ensuring you get the balance right. Use a mixture of prose to describe the situation and task, combined with bullet points to evidence the actions you took and what outcomes they led to.
5. Use statistics and numbers
Stats and numbers can contextualise the size of your achievements and bring them to life. It can provide clients with a reference point for their situation, the size of savings required, or budgets managed. It makes the CV feel more real and not just a series of statements.
6. Tailor the CV for the role
It is worth remembering that you are often being put forward for a role against other interims. This can be between two others and up to 20 depending on how many recruiters the client has gone to. Spending 30 minutes to tailor your CV for the role is worthwhile. Understanding what the client needs, their situation and the brief will enable you to highlight relevant achievements and ensure your CV goes to the top of the list. Ensure you work with a recruiter that can provide this information.
7. When to stop?
The length of a CV is often up for debate. When you have a career full of achievements or 10 interim assignments under your belt it becomes harder to keep the CV succinct. Don’t worry! If your CV goes to four pages it doesn’t matter, but remember that only pages one and two will really be read. So, ensure you have the most relevant information on page one. The further back into your career you go, the less detail you need to provide as it is most likely that the more recent work will interest the client.
The acid test is whether you are being invited to interview. If you are, then the CV is working!