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It Might Be Time For A CV Health Check

Standing between you and that next opportunity is most likely going to be one special document – your CV. ‘Simple enough’, you are probably thinking –  a summary of your skills and experience displayed in reverse chronological order? Easy.

Well, you might want to think again. It’s not the wrong way to write your CV, however, it may not be working as hard for you as it should be.

If you are in the market to find a role that allows you to leverage your existing skills and experience, while giving you the ability to do work you are passionate about – read on to learn how to build a CV that will certainly stand out from the crowd and help you land that perfect role!

It’s no secret that you need to tailor your CV for every application you make, but your goal should be to go one step further to create a powerful personal marketing document that demonstrates why you are the perfect candidate for the role.

Now you’re getting personal

Your CV is essentially a marketing document that is the packaging of your experience, skills, values and careers goals; all wrapped up to deliver your personal brand. Your brand defines what you do, and is defined by what you do.

A strong personal brand enables you to stand out in an oversaturated and highly competitive market by communicating to your target audience your skills, experience – and most importantly, your strengths – in a way that is strategically aligned with your career goals and unique to you.

Here are some ways to help you define your strengths:

  • Review and assess opportunities from past performance reviews.
  • Talk to friends and family. Ask them to honestly describe how they see you and comment on what you are great at.
  • Request feedback from trusted co-workers and supervisors.
  • Try taking a personality assessment that provides insights into your strengths. Access this free personality test provided by Open Colleges for the opportunity to learn more about your strengths, weaknesses, and what career areas you may like.

Focus on what you like

Sometimes applying for jobs can feel like slinging countless CV’s into the internet black hole without hearing back. This can take a toll when you’re putting in the effort but feel like you’re not getting anywhere.

Rather than applying for multiple jobs that may you not ideally want, take the time to assess what type of role you really want. Trust us, you’ll thank yourself for taking the time to do this.

Some tips to hone in what you want in a role might include:

  • Over a day or week, take note of the tasks that make you feel energised or what you are motivated to do. Think about what tasks you would put at the top of your to-do list when you have the choice.
  • Try taking an online career quiz. This assessment from Deakin University will give you career recommendations. Also, check out this one from the Australian Government’s Job Outlook.
  • Compile a list of things you would like to see in your next role and sort them into ‘must haves’ and nice to haves’. It can be the small things that make the biggest differences – flexibility of working from home, casual dress attire or pizza on a Friday!
  • Review employment trends to see the demand in your desired industry or role.

Putting it all together

Now you’ve spent time looking into the story your CV tells, and what your ideal role is, it’s time to start pulling it all together.

Start by filling out the ‘Summary’ section of a CV template (or using one you have already prepared) with your personal brand, describing your strengths and focusing on what interests you.

The ‘Summary’ should act as an overarching point for your CV, from which everything else supports your brand, strengths and ‘must have’ work that you enjoy doing.

For example, does the ‘Achievements’ section of the CV link back to what you have written in your ‘Summary’? It’s important to perfect the link between everything on your CV to your brand. You want to display a uniform approach that shows you are serious.

Consider which experience you include to support your objective – don’t throw everything at the wall to see what sticks. Unless you are new to the workforce, you should consider leaving off part-time or casual work you did while studying. If you have been in the workforce for a while, look to only include roles dating back 10 to 15 years unless they are directly aligned to your target role. Keep thinking of the story you want to tell with your CV – does it make sense?

Finally, keep it succinct and direct. Put yourself in the shoes of the person reading your CV – no matter how strong your personal brand is, if your CV exceeds more than 2 pages and doesn’t clearly show your objective – the reader may not capture the value you can bring.

We hope that this strategy helps you create a truly tailored CV that is unique to you and your career objectives to assist you in your job search.

Remember that your CV is always a work in progress document, and you should take the time to regularly review and update its contents so you can stand apart from the crowd.

Next steps

Now, what to do with that freshly reviewed and perfected CV?

If you are in the market for your next opportunity, we invite you to have a look at our open vacancies. HOBAN have an extensive database of available roles ranging from white-collar to industrial industries. Don’t fret if you can’t find the perfect job for you – you can register your details here, and someone from our team will be in contact when there is a suitable position.

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