What is the purpose of the CV?
by Rob Ridout
The traditional CV/resume has been around forever. Even with the advent of Linkedin and other social media platforms the candidate and hiring manager still considers this necessary document as the primary screening document. There is little chance of this document being replaced in the near future.
This CV has, however, three specific uses that the candidate needs to understand before entering the market. The CV, therefore, will need to cater to each of these but still keep that narrative on point according to the job specification.
The ultimate test for the CV is that it passes the screening test. The CV should always give the initial “minimum requirements” test. Most candidates still seem to think that there is no need to adjust their CV when submitting. The CV needs to be ‘loaded” for each specification! The reader will cross-reference your CV with the specification to ensure that the two documents match. If not, you are out! This is very important. You should also not include too much fluff around the actual information you are providing as part of these minimum requirements. The reader must be able to find this information quickly.
Your CV must also sell your skills and experience. However, this should not be done in a manner that is not too much in your face! The goal is to get into the interview, and then you can sell yourself at the interview. Selling in your CV can be done in a very subtle manner. Using achievements and completed projects as well as the use of information that pertains to various proactive initiatives are some of the ways that you can invite the reader to continue to read your CV and understand your commercial successes.
The balance between screening and sales in the CV is essential. This balanced perspective will help the reader understand your career journey as well as provide context regards your future aspirations.
The most critical CV purpose - YOUR SCRIPT
Most people just don’t even think about this one and why should they as there is so much emphasis on just getting into the interview. Part of the process of compiling a top CV is to dump as much information into the CV document as possible and then try to make sense of the final document. The eventual product, after you have moved information around and formatted all this info should be a story that explains to the reader your entire career journey, i.e. CVforLIfe. So, once you are moving through your interview process, especially the first interview, this re-worked CV can then be used as your script to guide you through the interview. This will assist you with your confidence in your interviews so that you can focus on the real questions rather than getting drowned in the nervousness of telling your story.
So there it is. Very easy but very important. Good luck with your job hunting.