2 Key elements of a successful CV

CV elements Ellis Fox Blog

If you’re considering seeking out a new role this year, the first step is to update your CV. The challenge is that writing about yourself is never easy. You know what your skills are and where your strengths lie, but somehow articulating it in words is a mammoth task. Plus, if you’ve been in a stable position for a number of years you may be concerned that the style and formatting of CV’s has changed since you last applied for a job.

All of these are valid concerns. As recruiters there are really two key elements that we look to extract when reading a CV:

  • Who you are as a person?
  • Can you do the job you’re applying for?

These are the two most important questions to answer as you formulate your CV. In focusing on them it’ll help you to identify the skills and experience to write about.

As an example: If you’re the type of person that is excited by challenges and has a knack for problem solving, you don’t just write that in a plain sentence. You cite an example of a project or instance where your problem-solving skills helped turn a project around, get it back on track, or prevent a major loss. If you’re able to include figures even better. It doesn’t need to be a long-winded explanation. It can be just a brief summary highlighting the problem that was being faced, your approach to solving it, implementation and the end results.

This has the potential to showcase your knowledge and level of expertise, as well as highlight personality traits that are key elements of your success.

Practically you’ll start your CV with a short paragraph describing yourself and your skills. This is where you can you can highlight a project. Next, you’ll want to describe your work experience related to the roles you’ve worked in. As you list responsibilities, keep in mind the two key elements: How will the skills you have translate into the new role and how will your personality help you succeed? In other words, highlight the skills you have that are being asked for in the job description and how these were learnt or applied in previous roles.

Lastly, as you compile your CV, think of how it reads to an outsider – someone who has never met you before. Would you hire the person you’re reading about?