Ch. 3: What skills do you have?

In this chapter you will learn how to:

• understand what employers want to hear
• tell them how good you are
• prove what you say

What makes you attractive?

The answer has nothing to do with physical appearance. How attractive you are to an employer is based purely on what you can offer them.

What you have done in the past will give most employers the best indication of what you can offer them in future. Their initial focus is most likely to be your Employment section.

Make it personal

An ideal Employment section is a series of bullet points in which you show off your skills.

What it is not, is a simple list of job responsibilities.

A list of job duties won’t make you stand out from anyone else who does a similar job. Employers don't want to know what you were supposed to be doing in another job; they want to know what you actually did in that job, and what you can therefore do for them.

Prove yourself

The key to doing this well is proof. Each bullet point must give some evidence that supports your claim to have these skills. When you think about it, anyone can claim to be anything. We can all claim to be amazingly motivated, valuable, committed, skilled employees. If all you do is make claims, there’s no reason for a recruiter to believe you. And no way to tell you apart from others.

The moment you start coming up with examples to show that what you say is true, your CV starts to gather real power.

Building your Employment section

Starting with your most recent job in mind, try to answer the following three questions:

1 WHAT DID YOU ACTUALLY DO?

Don’t rely too much on your job title to explain your past roles. What your job title says you do in your current company is often not the same at other companies you apply to.

EXAMPLE
Example
Question: Which of these is the most senior sales position?

  1. Territory Sales Manager
  2. Regional Sales Executive
  3. Regional Account Manager
  4. Sales Development Executive
  5. Regional Sales Manager
  6. New Business Executive
  7. National Account Manager
  8. Customer Development Manager

Answer: It depends. Even where the same title is used, the levels of responsibility can vary enormously. One company’s office manager can be another’s post sorter and coffee maker.

Accurately note what you did/do for each company you’ve worked for, and at what level.

From the following list, note what you were/are handling:

  1. workload
  2. team sizes
  3. team complexity
  4. project deadlines
  5. budget sizes
  6. performance targets.

Specific detail is what will make it clear to another employer whether you are likely to be able to cope with the level of job you are ...

The extract above has been taken from 'Get That Job With the Right CV'
Copyright © 2010 Julie Gray

Get That Job With the Right CV

From Julie Gray, Senior Consultant at The Resume Centre, Get that Job with the Right CV will help to teach you how to write the best possible CV to land that perfect job.

It covers everything from layout and format, through to perfecting a jargon-free writing style, avoiding common pitfalls and tailoring your CV to different jobs.  Julie’s in-depth professional advice and friendly style will guide you through every step of the CV writing process with humour and practicality and give you real confidence to effectively showcase your skills to employers.

As a professional CV writer at The Resume Centre, Julie sees every single day which CVs really achieve results.  This puts her in an excellent position to help you to create a truly exceptional CV of your own.

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