The Foundations to Create A CV That Gets Results

Informal research I've done suggests you have less than 30 seconds to get the attention of a recruiter .”

- Duncan Brodie -

Your CV is a vital part of your marketing materials.  You probably knew that.

At the same time over the years I’ve noticed that many accountants and professionals really struggle to create a CV that gets results.

In some respects this isn’t a surprise.  There certainly is no shortage of advice on CV. 

Equally it’s one of those areas where the theory is not difficult.  The practical application is often the challenge.

So what foundations do you need to focus on to create a CV that gets results?

Foundation 1: Thinking and Reflecting

Opening up Word or Google Docs really isn’t the place to start working on your CV.  Before you can even contemplate what to include on your CV, it’s vital to think and reflect. 

The purpose of thinking and reflecting is to get clear about what you have to offer your next employer.

The way you do that is by asking yourself some very specific questions and recording your thoughts on the answers to those questions.  Example questions include:

  • What skills do I have?
  • What personal attributes do I have?
  • What have I achieved in my career so far?
  • What have I contributed to the organisations I have worked for?

Foundation 2: Seeking Out Feedback

You like everyone have blind spots.  You probably have qualities that others see in you that you can’t see for yourself.

This is where feedback really makes a difference.  Trouble is many worry if they go out and actively seek feedback they will end up having to deal with a whole lot of negativity.

In reality the complete opposite happens.  You get a lot of insight.  You also get a lot of respect for being proactive and being willing to learn.

It can be as simple as 3 questions in an email:

  • What do I do well?
  • What could I improve?
  • What improvement would have the biggest impact?

Foundation 3: Being Willing To Write Positively About Yourself

I’m just doing my job.  I don’t want to come across too confident or as a know it all.

These are common responses.  We have this tendency to want to underplay or undervalue what we have to offer. 

Look at it differently.  Think in terms of a potential employer only being able to give you credit for what you tell them.  If you don’t tell them about skills, experience, knowledge, attributes and achievements, you are more likely to increase the risk of getting rejected.

The Bottom Line

Creating a great CV really can be a challenge.  At the same time if you focus on some of the core foundations, you greatly increase your chances of getting the result you want.  More job interview invitations.