Creating the perfect CV
No matter how charismatic and capable you are of selling yourself in person, 99% of the time you will need to submit your CV to a role as a first point of contact. There are many varying ideas of what a good CV looks like and for each person it will be different. However, there are some standard ‘best practice’ hints and tips that should steer you in the right direction:
• Never lie – you will be found out
• Keep it current and chronological
• No photo or graphics necessary
• Layout – allow plenty of white space, use bullet points to define key areas
• Be precise, use SMART to demonstrate achievements
• 3 pages are enough, 1 page isn’t!
• Ensure it is achievements based and showcases the impact your actions had on the business, not just a list of your responsibilities
• Demonstrate the Commercials, Context, Return on Investment. Remember that HR is a cost to the business, you must demonstrate the value you add.
• Try to include numbers in the content: how many employees, sites, size of budgets, cost reduction, increase in retention, reduction in attrition etc. This makes it a much more interesting read!
We will never write your CV for you, but if you want some specific advice, please contact us to book a CV Aid session.
Individuals attending interviews often go with the mindset that they are on trial, that they are the ones who have to impress. Our coaching around this process starts with the re-positioning of this mindset. An interview is a two-way process. Whilst you are there to impress with your skills, technical capability and gravitas, you are also there to understand whether they are an organisation and individual/s that you want to work with. This should put you on an equal footing, and allow you to demonstrate your suitability for the role.
• Be punctual and appropriately dressed for the environment
• Exhibit good body language, posture, eye contact, firm handshake etc..
• Answer the question with evidence based examples
• Use STAR / CAR to ensure your answers are succinct.
• Talk about your achievements – not those of the entire team
• Be interested and responsive to their comments – build rapport
• Have done your research on the business
The value of professional qualifications
Whether you are a seasoned HR professional or just starting out on your HR career path, there is no doubt that professional qualifications give you an edge over the competition. With the volume of applicants to a role on the rise, the decision to shortlist or not could be down to whether you have the qualification.
Within HR, the CIPD is the badge to have. As the professional body for HR and people development, they offer a range of membership options and grades of qualifications. With local branches running networking events you can ensure you are kept up to date with legislation and best practice.