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VIEWPOINT: What’s in a CV?

Which aspects will make your CV stand head and shoulders above the rest?

Creating a CV is essentially an exercise in advertising, with you as the product.

Your future success in securing your ideal career opportunity depends on the quality of the document you create.

Understand the opportunity, organisation and position that you are applying for and script your CV accordingly, being cognisant of the reason for the vacancy, who the decision makers are and what attributes they would consider vital.

Your CV should be created like an advertisement in an ‘information triangle’. First list your strongest attributes and selling points specific to that opportunity at the apex of the triangle. Then elaborate and add substance, noting that if the triangle was cut anywhere, the apex of the triangle should be able to stand independently.

Highlight your achievements and the outcomes of key projects to show the value it has added, the difference it has made, the return on investment and how it compared to budget and agreed upon time frames.

Focusing on achievements and what has been accomplished, rather than role and responsibilities, will help you practically display how you can add value to the organisation.

Detailing leadership positions held is useful as it indicates that you were selected. It is even more useful to know what your key achievements were while leading a team. For example: “We won the following new work”, or “We were voted best performing team”.

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Be aware that there are many attention-grabbing ways to present your CV. Examples include visual-cv.com that provides a useful and interesting manner to present an interactive CV and can include television appearances and publications in a professional format.

Vizualize.me is another excellent example of how to present your CV in a visual one page format and is especially useful should your career and language skills span a few countries and languages.

Sweat the small stuff when compiling and checking your CV.

Have it reviewed by people you trust and know well, to be sure it reflects you most favourably. Be careful not to rush when compiling your CV, as spelling mistakes and poor attention to detail will count against you.

Be sure that your CV clearly highlights why you, over everyone else, would be a great asset to the organisation you wish to join. Your unique value proposition should stand out and impress!

“Sales are contingent upon the attitude of the salesman, not the attitude of the prospect.” William Clement Stone.

Author: Anneke Andrew CA(SA) is the Director leading RecruitTalent at Deloitte.