More on the marketing approach to CV writing

I’ve written previously about the marketing approach to CV writing and thought it would be useful to go into more detail about how to apply this approach.

The concept is a really uncomplicated one – you need to find out what the employer wants and then give it to them. Plus you have to do this better than others.

Here are the key stages involved:

Know what you are best at

Think about your job search as more of a marketing strategy than a sales campaign. It’s longer term and more sophisticated than just a sales pitch.

When you believe in yourself, this comes across in what you write and what you say. Make logical career steps when possible and practical ones where necessary. All experience is useful – it’s just a matter of what you learn from it and how you present this.

Often a thematic rather than chronological approach can be a good starting point.

Find out what they want

Employers make it easy for you – they tell you what they are looking for. My guide would be that if you cover every point on their person specification and include a good example for each one, you will almost always get an interview. If this is not the case, there is bound to be something you can improve about the way you present your CV. Finding out what this is will get you better results than sending more CVs.

So get feedback from the right people, at the right time.

Make your claims credible

There is really no point in saying that you can do something that you can’t. If you lack detail in the form of examples, this will be obvious to the reader. More detail on the right things rather than a huge list of unsupported claims is always better.
Why not take this further and really question the importance of every line of your CV? If it doesn’t communicate something positive, valuable and relevant about you then it doesn’t need to be there. Be careful not to miss transferable skills out though. This is where good judgement is key.

Do it your way

There are certain things that need to be communicated in order to get you chosen. There is no single way of doing this however. So, present the information in whatever way works best for you. Don’t be limited by anyone else’s perception about how a CV ‘should’ be done. There are lots of views on this – they can’t all be right.

Focus on finding the style that works for you and for your unique abilities.

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Graeme Jordan

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CV Writer and Interview Coach. Blogging about ways to improve your CV writing and job searching experience.

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