How to turn your CV into a Sales Document

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Businesswoman Helen Butler of Kiosk Keyboard, with over 20 years experience of helping individuals prepare for the jobs market, has developed a list of key do’s and don’t for people who now need to develop a CV as a result of job loss. 

“People from all walks of life find it next to impossible to write their own CV. They leave out details that would differentiate them from other candidates; often failing to show a progression of career or a profile that would match the job they are targeting. A CV today is completely different to what it was twelve months ago. It’s a sales document that needs to pull hard punches and persuade the employer to consider you for this job”. 

These are the top ten tips that are helping people secure work today. 
1. First impressions are crucial - your application will only get 2-3 minutes before a decision is made to take it further or not. You need to fall into the former category. The first half page of your CV needs to be the strongest – this is the only part that you will be sure the employer will read. 

2. Show that you have what the employer needs. Read through job applications, what are they saying, what can you read between the lines. Put yourself in the employer’s shoes and consider the job profile, e.g., hairdressers need to show that they have creativity and excellent people skills, sales people need to show resilience and strategy, factory workers need to show team work and understanding of processes. 

3. If going for a career change outline your previous work then think what skills you need to get into the new career, i.e., identify your transferrable skills. Some of these can be gained through voluntary or community work, e.g., coaching juvenile GAA. Show you are serious about this by enlisting in a relevant course or becoming a member of a relevant association. 

4. Don’t underestimate the importance of the covering letter; it’s is an introduction to you. It needs to be direct, professional with a beginning, middle and end. The beginning states the job you are looking for, the middle shows why you should get it and the end should ideally ask to meet with them. 

5. Layout is important – your CV needs to be clear and easy to read. A cluttered CV won’t help your case. 

6. Keep it short – CVs should ideally be 1-2 pages, for managerial posts, there is an argument to add another page. Think of it this way, if you tell them everything on your CV, why would they ever need to meet you? 

7. Make it easy for the employer to take you on. Put your mobile number on the application letter, if you list an email address, check your emails regularly... as they will more than likely contact you by email. 

8. If you’re inserting a picture, make sure it’s relevant. Photos carry great weight where appearance is critical to the job, e.g., acting, presenting on TV, beauty. 

9. The parameters on which recruitment decisions are made are competence, professionalism, enthusiasm and likeability. Competence – can you do the job, Professionalism – how well will you represent the company when doing it, Enthusiasm – will you like doing this job and Likeability – how well will you fit in. 

10. A CV must impress; this sounds so obvious but it’s true! 

Kiosk Keyboard was formed in 2009, in response to the massive levels of market demand from the recent jobless. Based in Clonmel, Co. Tipperary, Kiosk Keyboard offers the following services: CV writing, interview preparation, jobseekers courses and job sourcing.