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How to create a Killer CV

Remember . . . the whole point of a CV is to make it easy for a possible employer to pick you out as the best person to come for an interview.

For our advice on creating a killer CV, view a recent webinar from Director Jerry Wood or read on for useful hints and tips. 

Is your CV working hard for you?

Your CV is a critical starting point in your job application process. There are many pitfalls, so watch this video for some essential tips and tricks to maximise the power of your CV!

Your CV should be designed to win you an interview with a potential employer.

If you start with the assumption that any future employer will be looking at scores of CVs; then you need to ensure that yours sticks out from the crowd.  They will usually have one or two key criteria, e.g. specific industry knowledge, length of time in the industry etc., which they will use to decide who to interview.

Find out what are the employer’s key criteria and tailor your CV to fit.

  • Don’t just say what you ‘do’, say what you have ‘achieved’. Show results.
  • Don’t waffle or write too much (2 pages at the most).
  • Be positive about your strengths.
  • Be truthful.
  • Ensure the document is well presented, has accurate dates and has no spelling mistakes.

Curriculum Vitae

Remember… tailor your CV both to the job and to the employer to whom you are applying.  This is a perfectly acceptable practice so long as you always tell the truth.

Every employer will have slightly different criteria for choosing their staff and you should ask your Consultant for full details both of the required skills and of the cultural preferences of your target company.  Then focus your CV towards those criteria.

Address: 4 Long Lane, Anytown, Anyplace, AP1 1AP
Phone: 01234 567891
Mobile: 07123 123456

This is like a snapshot, a quick reference for the employer and should simply be a brief paragraph about yourself relating to the position for which you are applying.  Make it an attention grabber like a newspaper headline to encourage them to read on!

Say who you are
(i.e. ‘an experienced Contract Sales person’)
what you are
(i.e. achiever, leader, initiator etc.)
and what position you are looking for
(i.e. Specialist End User sales role etc.).

A successful Contract Salesperson with over 5 years experience in both Contractor and specifier-led sales of floorcoverings. Target driven and with a proven ability to handle both the creation of specifications and the subsequent conversion to orders; I am now seeking a senior sales role where I can use my contacts and experience.

List your abilities or expertise which may be used in a variety of roles or occupations. Examples include communication, problem-solving and self-control.

Computer literate: Internet, Microsoft Office suite & Outlook. Clean driving licence.

Educational Qualifications
List only Secondary and further Educational qualifications. Give dates, name of establishment and name of qualification gained.

Relevant Training Courses
These are any job related or management courses etc. that you think will be of interest to this future employer.

7 “O” levels including English and Math’s (St. Georges School, Birmingham 1988)
2 “A” levels – English and Computer studies (St. Georges School, Birmingham 1990)
Several relevant training courses including Sales, Negotiating with Specifiers, Team building.
Currently studying Web based marketing course (evenings)

Employment History
This is the section most employers will first turn to when they have a pile of CVs to assess.  If you get your dates wrong or put in too much irrelevant detail then you may just be pushed to one side.

Get the basics right here.
Start with the most recent employer and work backwards.  Give dates (month and year), Company name and location, Job title, Job details.  Check the dates are correct and there are no unexplained gaps.  Check the spelling is perfect.  Beware of waffling on!

When you write the Job details make sure you focus on what you have achieved. Be specific and provide figures where possible.  Remember… your future employer will be looking for what value you can add to the bottom line of their business, so show them what targets you have achieved and what responsibilities you can take on.

Nov 1996 – Now    Superb Flooring Company Ltd, St Albans
Senior Business Development Manager

Responsible for:

New business generation for a commercial interiors company
Account management – maximising repeat business with architects & specifiers
Developing and implementing the overall company marketing strategy
Targeting the A & D community through a CPD seminar programme

Achievements include:

Achieving targets every year including 123% last year
Achieving overall sales growth from £240k to £740k over 4 years.
Negotiating several major projects including Big Bank, Canary Wharf (£250,000)
Promoted to Senior status in recognition of achievements

May 1990 – Oct 1996    ABC Flooring Ltd, London
Sales Manager

Responsible for:

Managing a new territory for the company
Generating new sales from a nil base
Developing brand awareness through sales activity, CPD presentations etc.
Training new staff

Achievements include:

Developing relationships with top specifiers including Acme Bloggs partnership, Scribble & Blot Design and Prima Donna Creative Services
Grew sales from zero to £550k within 3 year period
Won the prestigious Morton Stanbridge Contract in Narrowgate, London.
Won the “Salesperson of the year award” in 1997

This gives the future employer a glimpse of the type of person you are. Give very brief details and include any major achievements which you think would be of interest to them in an interview.

My young family takes up much spare time. Occasionally I visit the cinema, ski to a remarkably indifferent standard and enjoy good food.  I go to the gym regularly.

Raised £2,000 for charity by doing a sponsored parachute jump.

Either provide a couple of good referees (ideally past employers) or, if you would prefer to leave these confidential until later on in the Recruitment process, then just print ‘Supplied upon request’.

Available on request.