How to share what’s great about you on your CV without bragging?
We all want to present the best version of ourselves on our CV as it can be the key to that job we’ve been dreaming about for weeks. However, it’s easy to get carried away and actually start making a list of the things that make us awesome. But this is a big mistake! Lists are boring and reflect a rather self-obsessed version of ourselves. Here are a few tips that’ll help you shine through your CV without bragging.
- Don’t tell, show – Use concrete examples to illustrate your skills. For instance: “I helped organise a convention abroad over three days with 500 guests”. Always try to include numbers as they are more striking than words. Don’t be vague and use generic terms like “hard-working” and “proactive” unless you have facts to prove it.
- Use the Result by Action format – Each bullet point you include in your work experience section should highlight the results of your efforts. Achievements are very valuable on a CV. The number of bullet points you add should reflect the length of each position you held and also be relevant to the job you want to get.
- Be concise – Use the opening statement of your CV as an elevator pitch: a brief speech which presents an idea for a project in a couple of seconds. Explain what you are good at, interested in, inspired by but also highlight what you could do for the company. Ask yourself why you are the right candidate and how you can use your skills to bring value to the company.
- Don’t share all your achievements – What is that? You’re telling me I shouldn’t share all my memorable achievements?! Yes I am. You can’t list them all. You only need to write down the ones that really make you interesting but are also relevant to your current job search. The art prize you won when you were 11 probably doesn’t count as one of these.
- Be job specific – Your CV is more likely to move at the top of the pile on the recruiter’s desk if you adapt it to the job you are applying for. It demonstrates your interest in this specific company. Make sure you highlight the skills listed on the job description (you must have mastered at least 2-3 on that list).
Once your perfect CV is ready, make sure you don’t waste all your efforts by sending it en masse to anyone who is hiring. To get results, make sure you target both the companies working in the industry you want to get into and the jobs that require skills you have listed.
You’ve managed to avoid writing a generic CV, so do not adopt a generic strategy when you start applying!
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Written by: Pauline Zoch