Even for the most career-focused among us, writing a CV can be a minefield. Do you try to condense to one page, or include more detail on your achievements and skills? How best can you describe your role to sell yourself? Ultimately, you want something that accurately reflects your experience and skills, appeals to your dream employer, and stands out from the crowd – all at the same time.
Fear not, at Headcount, we have many years’ experience advising candidates on CV writing for the digital sector. Here are some of our top picks to help you write a compelling CV that’s guaranteed to get you hired.
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01 Keep to a Logical Structure
Keep it simple and don’t forget the basics. These are the sections you should include. Personal Summary (optional), Experience, (dated, ordered in reverse chronological), Education, Qualifications & Skills, References. Even if you are experimenting with different formats, such as a web page CV, you should still include the basics.
02 Make it Achievement led (NOT a list of responsibilities)
It’s OK if some of your CV details what your role entails, however too much description is boring and doesn’t directly convey why someone should hire you. Recruiters and potential employers are less interested in exactly what you do day to day, and more interested in what you have achieved, especially compared against benchmarks such as targets or company expectations.
Could say: “I am responsible for leading sales negotiations with prospect customers and closing deals.”
Better to say: “In 2018 so far I have led the negotiation on 4 key deals worth a total of £2m revenue, closing 100% of business. This is tracking 120% of my revenue target.”
03 Tailor to your audience
Your CV must be relevant to the person reading it. If you’re a software engineer applying for a job in digital advertising, it makes sense to highlight projects you’ve done in the media sector rather than keeping it generic. Same goes for the personal summary if you include one.
Could say: “Experienced Front-End developer with project-based experience across a range of digital industries”
Better say: “Front-End developer, most recently working on projects in the digital advertising space”
04 Remember your keywords
It’s 2018 and keyword searching is a thing (you know this already, right?). Your CV is no different. Most companies and recruitment agencies will use software to sift through thousands of applicant CVs or LinkedIn profiles, filtering out by technical or industry keywords. While it’s not advised to put skills on your profile you don’t have to attract the attention of recruiters (yes, we see this), make sure you DO include relevant keywords. If you work as a product manager in fintech, use the word ‘fintech’ a couple of times, as well as any specific qualifications or programming languages you have knowledge of.
05 Short and Snappy (Don’t Waffle!)
Recruiters read thousands of CVs per week, and if we had a pound for any time we came across “motivated team players” we’d have packed in recruitment long ago to be sitting on a faraway beach drinking cocktails. You might think that business jargon makes you look good, but people don’t have time for unnecessary waffle. Ruthlessly proofread your CV with the aim of cutting out filler words to focus on facts and achievements.
Could say (actually please don’t): “I am a motivated, creative, detail-orientated project manager, possessing extensive experience in effectively managing teams and processes to achieve business outcomes in a variety of organisational structures within the fintech sector globally”
Better say: I’m an agile project manager with 10+ years’ experience scaling international teams in fintech start-ups
06 Don’t forget your online CV
The CV isn’t dead yet. But if you’re working in the digital or technology space, you’ll know that online presence is important too. Provide links to design portfolio examples, GitHub, your website URL, LinkedIn, Twitter if relevant. Make sure your LinkedIn is up to date, as many recruiters will use it as a first port of call for potential candidates.
Looking for new opportunities or just want to see what's out there? Feel free to check out our latest jobs for Fintech & Payments professionals.