As a professional planner you understand the importance of process and that often more time is spent on planning than actually doing. The same goes for CV writing.
Firstly, it is important to understand who your CV is aimed at. And the most important distinction here is that it’s not you, it’s your target audience. Putting yourself in the shoes of the recruiter is absolutely crucial when planning how to write a CV; understand your target market and say the things that they really want to hear.
Plan before you write
Make sure you spend as much time researching and planning as actually writing your CV. A shoddily written CV that focuses solely on what you want to say rather than what the employer wants to read is a sure fire way to not securing an interview. Ask yourself: ‘what exactly is it that this prospective employer is looking for?’ So do thorough research looking at organisation websites and job boards to give yourself the best possible insight.
The importance of the person specification
Do not underestimate the importance of the person specification. The job description will tell you what you’re going to be doing practically whereas the person specification will tell you the skills and experience needed to do the job. If you read the person specification and it ticks all of your boxes the chances are that you’ve found a role that’s a good fit for you. Your CV should highlight the attributes and expertise listed in the person specification.
Values and culture
Employers place an increasing emphasis on recruiting employees that match their own values. You can have all the desired technical skills but if you do not ‘fit’ with a new employer from a more values perspective then the relationship may not be a lasting and successful one. Again, read organisational websites, they nearly always have sections on their values and culture. If it sounds like you then it’s time to get your CV finalised.
Putting pen to paper
When it comes to putting your planning into CV writing action, always remember to keep the employer in mind; these people are representatives of the organisation you are applying to work for so the best thing you can do is align your CV to the person specification and the values of that particular organisation. Try to use the same sort of language and words found on the organisation’s website throughout your own CV.
So remember: taking the time to plan and thoroughly research your target audience and the employer who’ll be reviewing your CV and tailor your CV to these requirements; this is the single most important thing you can do to help you get that interview and, ultimately, get hired. Good luck.
This article is written by Neville Rose, Director at CV Writers. CV Writers are the official CV writing partner to The Planner Jobs. CV Writers also publish Perfect CV, a toolkit that includes a professional CV template, how to write a CV videos and a CV checking service.