The question is never really asked on how to read a CV or how a CV is read for that matter. It’s amazing more emphasis is not put on this as effective reading of a CV is not only an extremely useful skill for candidates but also is a must for ‘in tune’ employers. Companies are always looking for ‘the perfect’ CV and lets face it, there’s so much ‘dos and don’ts’ on CVs often candidates creating their CV can miss the basics. Below are a few of the guidelines I have come up with to tackle the common CV pinch points for both sides of the process.
Gaps in your CV:
With the advent of affordable travel and the almost inevitability of young professionals taking a year out to gain ‘life experience’ gaps are becoming more and more common but still can raise eyebrows.
As employers, we really cannot afford to discriminate so candidates should not be excluded straight away. There are many reasons for gaps in the CV and often when a good candidate has taken time out there could be a perfectly understandable reason. In some instances, experienced candidates can be snapped up for adjusted remuneration package on the back of sustained absence from the workplace but still have the desired experience, so start looking past the gaps and into the reason behind them.
For interview, it is essential that the candidate is able to explain exactly the reasoning and the thought process behind the gap. One of the first questions the interviewer will be asking is addressing the time out and a candidate who is not prepared can be left looking as if they are trying to cover up something which may be very innocent in the nature. Whatever the answer is, be open, be honest and make sure you can reflect it in a way that helps you chances of securing the role.
Certainly there is a gap across all sectors at the mid management level at the moment. The most desirable skill set at this level is the mastery of the ‘soft skills’. Good companies are interested in hiring people with a good level of communication skills and personality. In fact, many employers will tell you that they look for these skills over educational background. The cultural fit is now as important as anything. Illustrating these skills on your CV is essential. It separates you from the crowd. Have you managed a team? Tell me. Are you involved in a networking group? Tell me, are you volunteering, put it down on the CV. This will prove that you naturally have the attributes that contribute to a being a good team player.
Lots of jobs:
The old adage of people jumping from one opportunity to another still rings true. Yes it’s important to gain experience but show you have commitment to something by staying a while. Employers will be afraid to invest training, time and money into you if you’re going to be a flight risk in 6 months.
Finally, make sure your personality shines through in your CV. Reading a CV should leave me wanting to meet you, it shouldn’t bore me. Forget the ordinary jargon; I want to know what seperates you, what new can you bring to my company? Show me how you want the job more than anybody else. Invest time in creating a few CV’s highlighting different experiences so that you can apply to different types of roles.
Oliver Mall Consultancy is your partner in the accounting and FS market. With a combined ten years’ experience within the FS/accounting space we are uniquely positioned to advise on the best opportunities that are available for you and how to fulfil your career potential.