The 2013 CV

Posted By Simon Clark

24 July 2015 - 15:36pm

According to Goldman Sachs, 2013 will feel friendlier.... although the Euro Crisis is certainly not resolved and there is deep recession in peripheral countries. We have reason to be more cheerful in the UK however, as our growth forecast for this year is estimated at 1% - a lot better than recent years - and global growth is estimated at 3%. So I am back at our office in Wimbledon in the first business week of January feeling more positive than at the same time in recent years.

Experience tells me that January is one of the most popular times of year to look for a new job, “28% of senior managers or directors below board level are most likely to be looking for a job this quarter” according to the CIPD Employee Outlook

It’s therefore the perfect time of year to carry out routine career maintenance with the annual update of your CV – even if you are not looking for a job. If you leave it much longer than a year you may forget your many achievements in the last 12 months

Creating a CV in the Smartphone era

The age-old advice for preparing a CV has been don’t exceed 3 pages and I have often wondered why. Having reflected I think it is because CV’s were delivered by Royal Mail and the recruiter at that time ended up with a huge pile of paper to go through!

Times have changed significantly and the number of pages is no longer that relevant – today it’s the number of screenshots that counts and more importantly the ability to serve up the information on a CV so the reader can see it quickly and then move on.

Curiously... most people design a CV on a digital piece of A4 paper when it will rarely get printed and give little consideration to the needs or habits of the reader or receiver. Many candidates spend hours creating paragraphs of introduction and lose sight of what the reader and receiver wants and methods they use for viewing the “document”

The Receiver of a CV

  • In 2013 the receiver of a CV has multiple viewing devices - Blackberry, smartphone, Pad, laptop and desktop!
  • CV’s are delivered digitally and end up with the receiver as e-mail.
  • The receiver has a volume of e-mails to deal with every day, they are read on the way to work, in the first hour at work, at lunch time, at the end of the day or while travelling
  • The reader is busy....needs to move on quickly and get through the volume.
  • Digital readers don’t like scrolling through a “document” too far without finding out if they are interested or understanding why the CV has been presented.
  • Research by The Ladders suggested that Most people spend a maximum of 6 seconds on a CV before they have made their decision

The 2013 CV

  • Presentation is key!
  • Make it pleasing on the eye, well laid out and not in confusing boxes or poor choice of font
  • Move your address to the end of the CV....the receiver is not going to write to you unless they make a job offer (which will be way down the process) and the address is using up valuable space at the top of your CV.
  • A reader wants to be able to contact you...so after your name the next most important information is your telephone number, e-mail address and social media links
  • If you have a personal profile as an introduction to your CV make sure it is concise and interesting
  • Next most important is a Career History. Show this in bullet form...the date of each job, the role and the employer is all you need here.
  • After this come the Career Details....this is the detail about each employer, the job role and your measurable achievements. Use HTML links to the employers you have worked for
  • There is an example of the 2013 CV in the Resource Centre on our website www.barrettclark.com/resources/intro
  • To stand out from the crowd don’t just send your CV by e-mail – follow it up with a telephone call.
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