Apologies if the mere mention of Crème Eggs is making your mouth water uncontrollably (damn those New Year’s Resolutions!) It just seemed appropriate to mention them now we’re in January, that all-important month when shops take down their Christmas decorations and start preparing for Easter in earnest.
It’s at this point that you might start to think: well so what? What could a delicious fondant-filled chocolate egg have to do with my career, and how can I use it to my advantage?
Well, in short, standing out in a crowded jobs market is all about differentiation. It’s all about packaging up something a lot of other people also do in a clear and compelling way that’s unique to you. Just like the way you eat a Crème Egg!
That famous “how do you eat yours?” advertising campaign hit right on the fact that millions of people eat Crème Eggs every year, yet they all approach it in a slightly different way. This uniqueness is exactly what you need to harness when you’re talking about your skills and experience.
Last year, I gave a talk to a class of children in a local school about choosing a future career. As part of their homework, the teacher had asked them to write about what they did after school the previous day. Yet only a few of them had completed the exercise, with the rest complaining that there was no point. “We all did the same thing,” moaned one, “we just went home, had dinner and watched TV, then went to bed.”
This is exactly how a lot of people approach their CV, by telling themselves they have to write something, before blandly listing everything they’re responsible for at work. As a former HR Manager who often had to sift through over 100 CVs every day, let me tell you: that doesn’t make for a riveting read.
If you want to stand out and grab attention, you’re going to have to do better than that list. You’re going to have to explain in more detail how you approach your work, and how you choose to get things done.
Take our example at the school. Writing “went home, had dinner and watched TV” gives a reader some basic information about your evening. But drilling down a bit more into how you got home, what you prepared for dinner and what you watched on TV provides a bit more individuality. It gives a reader more opportunity to picture the kind of person you are, and if they’re likely to get on – or be able to work – with you.
So as 2018 gets going, why not give your skills and experience a refresh? Take a brand new look at that CV to see where you could add some more detail and energy. If you’re on the lookout for a new job, or even a new career this year, the effort will be more than worth it.
(Maybe accompany your CV refresh with a Crème Egg for an extra boost!)
Are you taking part in the Great 2018 Job Hunt? If you’re stuck for CV inspiration, why not give me a call? I’m a CV writer with many years of recruitment experience under my belt, and I can help.