Disclaimer: I write CVs for a living.
And yes, this is something of a plug. Well, we are heading into December, during which masses of people will decide over cold turkey sandwiches that next year they’re finally going to get the Job Of Their Dreams.
Given that in most cases, finding the Job Of Your Dreams begins with your CV, it probably makes sense to spend a bit of time on it.
But time isn’t all you need, is it? Writing skill comes in handy too, along with the ability to summarise everything you’re good at…
…in an interesting, objective and fact-based manner that somehow also incorporates your unique personality.
That’s your CV mission, should you choose to accept it.
If you don’t (and to be honest, even if you do), getting someone else to take on some of the hard work will bring a whole host of whizzy benefits.
Before you accuse my plug of having a whiff of the shameless about it, you don’t have to hire a professional CV writer. It could be a trusted friend who’s a wonder with words, or a family member who works in recruitment.
Either way, here’s what someone else’s skill and input could do for your CV:
1. You’ll see your career through fresh eyes
When you do the same things day in, day out, it’s often hard to see what’s so unique or interesting about them.
However, to someone else they might be quite fascinating.
Bear in mind that it can get addictive, talking over the nuances of your career with an interested person, and that’s before a single word has been written on your CV. Not only does it feel incredibly fizzy and motivating, but links between your skills, your experience and a brand-new career path may even start to appear.
2. You’ll be forced to think a bit harder
That award you won years ago? Those impressive sales figures you achieved, then promptly forgot about because life moved on? That throwaway comment your colleague made, when they said you were fantastic at problem-solving?
Writing a CV is a chore for most people. As you start yours, you could be tempted to skim over your career, taking mental shortcuts that see you sticking to Route One, nuts-and-bolts information about your work.
“This will do…” you might think as you hit ‘Save’, when deep down you know it could be so much better. If only you could find the patience and the motivation.
Asking someone else to write your CV properly means you’ll have no choice but to explain to them in detail what makes you so good at what you do. If they’re good, they’ll ask you questions that mean you’ll have to travel even further into the recesses of your mind for stand-out career examples.
3. You can really be you
Ironically, when we write about ourselves we’re the least likely to come across as the people we really are. This is why profiles and CVs are so devilishly difficult to write.
After all, we’re trying to cram absolutely everything we know about ourselves into a few saleable paragraphs. That’s hard, and it gets even harder if you’re the type of person who stares down at the floor whenever someone dares to pay you a compliment.
It’s such a quandary – knowing you need to write to impress, but not knowing how to do that and still be yourself. Luckily, this is the area in which someone else’s input can really come into its own.
The right person will help you come across as yourself, but in a prouder, more polished, “look what I’ve achieved” kind of way that others will not only notice, they’ll want to know more.
If you’re taking part in the Great 2019 Job Hunt, I wish you the best of luck. If you need some extra help, my free ebook, You on a Page: How to Write Your First CV is available to download from my Reading Room.
I also offer a bespoke CV writing service, which starts with an hour-long meeting to really get to the heart of your skills, experience and career goals.
I'm a friendly and professional writer, reviewer and editor who works with warmth, humour and flexibility.
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