How to transform your CV from ordinary to brilliant

Your CV is SO important as it reflects YOU!

Maybe I am being a tad harsh, but think about it…

  • Why would you want to send out something that shows no real effort has been put into it?
  • What does it say to a potential employer in the first instance about your approach to yourself and therefore by association to their business?
  • What value can you add or bring to an organisation if you’re not even applying it to yourself?!
  • In fact, what effort are you actually showing to yourself?

I really hope these questions will make you think about this, as it is so important to take time to work on your CV, and ensure that it truly represents you, your skills and experience, as well as the essence of you and what value you can bring to a potential employer. And, to ensure that you attract an opportunity that is right for you.

The time you spend on yourself, and your CV, is IMPORTANT. You may not even get to use your CV once it is done, but the effort you put into creating a great document is time well spent, as it means that you are taking the time to reflect on what you have done and what you have achieved in life, and quite often we can forget what we have done, what we are capable of, and it is great to step back and recognise our achievements.   It is also important to work out what you have enjoyed and want to do again, and by default what you’ve not enjoyed and don’t want to do again.

This helps to shape and define what you are looking for in a new role – it brings clarity and focus. And in establishing these points, you reflect that in your CV. Ensuring the areas that you enjoy are highlighted and offered out as a benefit to an employer, and leaving out / lowering the focus of work that you haven’t enjoyed. Who needs a detailed description of your first job when the chances are that it bears little relevance to your current employment? It’s far more important, and relevant, to focus on recent work experiences / achievements and add the detail there instead. By default, you really need to be attempting to keep your CV to 3 pages, so keep it focused.

You’d be surprised how many CVs I have seen, reviewed, created in my 32+ years in recruitment. We are, in fact, talking millions!

By way of an example, I recently worked with a coaching client and helped him to review and rework his CV.  He has provided the following testimonial for me to share.

“I’ve always been fairly good at selling myself with CVs and in interviews, but what became very evident to me once Sarah began giving me some points and tips on how to represent myself on my CV, was that there is a big difference between fairly good and brilliant!

 She’s been in the business of recruiting for a long, long time, and knows exactly what employers are looking for, and what they are not looking for.

 She can turn a mere ordinary CV into something brilliant!”

In short, I suggested adding information in certain areas and removing it in others, for example, I explained that by adding more detail and focus to his coaching clients and who he has worked with would help him to attract more of the same, and take the emphasis off the last job detailed on his CV which was the one with the most information. (You can see this in the attached image). He went away and spent time adding lots of fabulous additional content and returned his updated CV for me to take another look at. I then made some additional tweaks to create the ‘after’ image. And what a difference it now makes to how he is presenting himself, and all that he can bring to a potential employer as well as all those he may now work with by default.

For more insight into creating a CV, you can head to my YouTube channel Sarah J Naylor where there are 5 detailed videos on this very subject, rich with content that will help you to focus on yourself and understand further the importance of getting your CV into shape.

Or you could go a step further and read my book, which explores you and your career even further:

Or for more direct input, you can talk to me:

Let me sum up with the following top tips:

 Take time out to fully review your CV – does it REALLY reflect you and what you are looking for career-wise?

  • Focus on the areas of work you enjoy and ensure this is reflected / emphasised in your CV
  • Bring your CV to life by allowing your personality to shine out by making a few tweaks to the descriptive words that you use, i.e., rather than stating ‘I am capable of looking after your bookkeeping’, you could reframe it by using more expressive language such as ‘I am passionate about numbers and ensuring that you are able to run your business with up-to-date information’
  • Enable the person reading your CV to see how working with you will benefit their business