Plan for Jan! How to create the perfect CV

12 January 2018 by Mark Fallon

Plan for Jan! How to create the perfect CV


Mark Fallon

Here at Alternatives, January tends to be one of the busiest months of the year for the team.

The “New Year, New me” mantra is on everyone’s mind heading into 2018 and for many that means taking the necessary steps towards their dream job. Here at Alternatives we give our candidates the best possible tools so that they can reach their potential. This starts with creating the perfect CV.

Your CV is an important positioning statement. Its job is to tell your story, potential employers need to be able to identify from your CV that;
1. You have the relevant experience they need (industry sector, competencies)
2. You are likely to perform well in the organisation (track record) and
3. You are likely to be a good cultural fit (attitude & interests).

In order to be a stand out candidate for interview selection your CV needs to communicate in a simple yet compelling way all three of the above.


What to include:

Summary profile
Write a short summary to include your industry experience, core competencies, key strengths and top line reasons why you fit the role you are applying for.

Many people make the mistake of listing their role responsibilities as a way to convey to their experience and forget to include their key achievements. Lots of other candidates will have the same role/ responsibilities as you so how are you supposed to stand out?

Great candidates distinguish themselves in their CVs and in interview by the extent to which they demonstrate great performance in their current and previous positions. This is why key achievements are crucial on a CV. I don’t want to know if you have done the role, I want to know if you have delivered in the role and made a measurable difference. Ask yourself how have you made a difference to the business? Quantify if possible. If you aren’t clear about this on your CV chances are you won’t be in interview either.

Attitude & Interests
Employers like to get a sense of what you will be like to work with as a future colleague. Who are you? What are you into? What else do you do? What is your preferred working style and working environment? Lots of employers nowadays want to hire people who are interested in diverse things and lead an active life outside of work. Again these are things that personalise a professional document and can help you stand out.

Top Tips:
• Include your experience in a concise and bullet point format
• Make sure your contact details are visible and correct on your cover letter and CV.
• Tailor your CV and Cover letter to the role you want or are applying for. By doing this it shows your fit for the position.
• Highlight examples of achievements relevant to the role you are interested in.
• Explain all gaps on your CV (travelling etc.)
• Know your CV inside and out. Be able to talk through your experience with ease (dates at each role etc.) & most importantly how you made a difference in each role

• There is no need to include a photo

Most of all your CV is a reflection of you so let your personality out.