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Write Your CV to Land The Job You Want

Revisit Your CV to Increase Your Chance of Success

Is your CV working as hard as it should be? It is, essentially the step that’s going to get you to the door, before you dazzle the interviewer with your personal skills and charm, so it deserves a little more than a cursory tidy-up every now and again.

How have you been writing your CV? As a summary of your skills and experience in reverse chronological order? It’s not technically an incorrect way of writing your CV, but it may not be working as hard for you as it should be.

If you’re searching for a role that best showcases your your skills and experience, and allows you to do work that you’re passionate about,  giving your CV a little more attention can inch you ahead of other candidates and help you stand out.

We’re not going to cover old ground here, we all know you should tailor your CV to each job application. It’s Job Seeker 101. A non-negotiable. Do it; hiring managers can tell. By putting in a little extra effort, you can take your application further by miles and make that impactful first impression.

Your CV should be an effective branding and marketing document. It should outline your skills and experience but also align you to the work you really want to do. This doesn’t mean including information that isn’t open, honest, or genuine. It means getting really clear about your strengths and what you want, whilst staying mindful of market needs.

How do you do this? We’re glad you asked.

Define Your Brand

You have a personal brand. Your brand comprises what you do, e.g. Project Manager; a summary of your experience, e.g. with 10 years’ experience in the Finance sector; and most importantly your strengths, described in a way that is unique to you.

Here are some suggestions to help you get clear on your strengths:

  • Read past performance reviews
  • Talk to family and friends. Ask them to describe how they see you and what you’re good at
  • Ask trusted colleagues for feedback
  • Take personality assessments that may provide insights to your strengths. Try this free assessment from Open Colleges to find out more about your strengths, weaknesses, and what to look for in a career.

Define Your Wants

What do you want? I know, right? We typically think of work as something we have to do, but, surprise! It should be something you actually enjoy. What type of work gives you joy, enjoyment or fulfillment? If this is not immediately obvious to you, then:

  • Over the course of a day, then a week, note the tasks that make you feel energised, or that you are more motivated to do.
    What do you put at the top of your to-do list when you have the choice?
  • Take online career quizzes. This assessment from Deakin Uni will make career recommendations, as will this one by the Australian Government’s Job Outlook
  • Write a list and sort them into ‘must haves’ and ‘nice to haves’ for your next role. Sometimes small things can make a big difference, such as desk with a hybrid working, or having a business casual dress code
  • Review job market research to ensure alignment

Put It All Together

Now you’ve done all that introspection and research, it’s time to put it all together.

Populate the ‘Summary’ section of a CV template with your brand, describe your unique strengths, and tailor your language to lean into what you love doing.

This ‘Summary’ should be an anchor for your CV, from which everything else supports your brand, strengths, and ‘must have’ work that you enjoy. So, what you included in your ‘Achievements’ section should then link back to what you’ve communicated in your ‘Summary’?

Your ‘Experience’ section should also support your objectives. Consider what to include that supports the role you are going for and links back to your summary. If it’s not relevant, it is ok to leave it out. Unless you’re new to the workforce, there’s no need to include your part-time job at KFC drive-thru that paid you through your university years. If you’ve been in the workforce for a while, only include jobs dating back 10 or 15 years unless they are aligned to your target roles.

Every section in your CV should link back to your brand, your strengths and your wants.

You can focus on how it looks later, relevant to your role and industry. Direct your efforts on the content of your CV. This template can help get you started.

Once you put this all together, what you’ve done is create a truly tailored and unique CV with a strong anchor to your story and what you bring to the table. Your story is no one else’s and this should help you stand out from the other applicants simply firing off their standard CV and responses.

If you’d like further advice on other job seeking topics, we’ve put together theses resources to help you land your next role.

If you are on the market for your next IT opportunity, take a look at our job board to see all of our current vacancies. You can also register with Clicks via the Job Seekers page on our website.

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