These are my top tips for creating a winning CV (which can be applied to any function) based on client feedback gained over more than 15 years’ international recruitment for Change Management professionals:
What’s the most important aspect to your CV?
The first page is the most important! Hiring managers are busy people and often your CV will be in a shortlisted selection of candidates. The first page needs to be striking and to the point to ensure your CV is read in full. In my opinion, the first page of the CV should start with a short introduction about you, sometimes called a “Profile” or “Career Summary”. I would recommend this is no longer than 5-10 lines, and I would expect it to be a descriptive career summary on your soft and hard skills, style and objectives.
International Change Management professional with more than 15 years’ post graduate commercial experience in the financial services sector working on large and complex change programmes across back office functions. A functional background that has taken me through structured business analysis and project management disciplines delivering projects across HR, finance and technology transformation. My most recent experience from the last three years’ has been in a Director capacity, running multi-function change management programmes, to reduce cost and improve business performance across a number of corporate functions. With deep experience gained across retail and investment banking, across multiple countries and cultures, I am a decisive and outcomes focussed Change Management specialist who leads by example…
What is your value proposition – Key skills:
Below your introduction profile you should highlight your most important skills. In my view, this is your value proposition and should be around five key skills, mainly because nobody is outstanding at more than 5-6 things. At a senior level you can swap these skills around depending on the role you are applying for, and I would expect a core four skills to always remain the same with a few descriptive lines on each.
Team building and management: I have more than 10 years’ experience building and managing change management teams of up to 50 people, including business analysis, project management and PMO functions. I enjoy creating a strong team culture known for delivery and I am experienced in developing people and raising standards and expectations of what “good looks like” within my division.
Outsourcing and offshoring: I have full lifecycle experience in supplier selection, negotiation and management when it comes to restructuring technology teams and looking for cost reductions and performance improvement through outsourcing arrangements. I have worked with 3rd party suppliers across India, Eastern Europe and the US.
Examples of other key skills could include, but not limited to: Project and Programme Delivery, Business Process Improvement, Digital transformation, Global Experience, Commercial etc..
What next? Creating the body of the CV:
Having written your profile introduction and your top five skills, this will have taken up a half to two thirds of the first page of your CV. Now you should introduce your employment history and I would suggest a 1-2 line description of your current employer, if it is an unknown brand or a smaller business that might not be known of. This will help set the scene about your company. You should then describe your responsibilities and, most importantly, your achievements in your current and previous roles. Don’t list reams of basic responsibilities, focus on the monthly and quarterly objectives you’re expected to achieve and in your outcomes, talk about key projects or initiatives you have led and what value and ROI they delivered to your employer or customer.
When clients hire, generally they are buying your most recent experience. Make sure your CV is the appropriate length, and I would advise 2-3 pages. More than three pages and it’s unlikely a hiring manager is going to read beyond the third page and I think most people make their mind up by page two. Three pages should be enough to capture all of your experience and if you have been working for more than 15-20 years, jobs you performed in your early career can be summarised in a few lines, if they are less pertinent to the opportunities you are applying for today. I believe clients are most interested in your employment history from the last five years.
It is important that your CV is easy on the eye and watch out for the smaller details. Make sure the letter type is the right size and avoid switching between different types of font, bullet points and italics. Make sure the CV flows with continuity. I would also avoid too many boxes and wasted space as can sometimes happen when you use a CV template. Always spell check and ask someone else to proofread your CV!
If you have questions on your CV or you want to know more about how The Change Partners can help you in your job search please contact Tristan at firstname.lastname@example.org or call on 07710 463 499.