As high calibre finance and strategy professionals our candidates possess exceptional report writing and presentation skills. However many of you have also stated that when it comes to crafting that all important resume; it is often a challenge to know how much or what content to include. In our opinion a good CV should:
- be succinct - 2 / 3 sides of A4 paper is normally enough
- be positive - it should emphasise your achievements, strengths and successes
- be relevant – ensure that you have genuinely thought about your audience and their needs
What to include
There is no set format – how you present your experience is up to you. However, you should include at least the following:
- your name
- your address
- your contact number
- your e-mail address
- your career history
- your current compensation
- your current notice period
A personal profile
This should be a short statement at the beginning of your resume to sell yourself – your skills, experience and personal qualities. Bearing in mind our clients are seeking high calibre business professionals who are as adept at communicating with words as they are numbers; this summary paragraph provides an indication of how you convey a message succinctly. This should be no more than 3-5 sentences. Tailor the statement to the requirements of each role that you apply for so that you make it clear how and why you are relevant.
Qualifications and training
Include all academic and professional qualifications ensuring that most recent qualifications are detailed first.
Ensure that the most recent employment is displayed first with a brief over-view of the organisation / division / business unit so that the subsequent content is placed in context. Ensure that you provide a handful of succinct and clearly defined bullet points to explain the remit of your roles (“responsibilities”) and a second section to describe what you achieved above and beyond the core responsibilities (“achievements”). A strong CV includes both of these sections – without mention of achievements a resume can appear one-dimensional and lacks that sense of who you are and what you are capable of. Conversely a resume that talks only of achievements could benefit from stating the core remit of the role so there is a greater appreciation of the structure of the position and context.
These can support your application if your hobbies and leisure activities highlight responsibilities and skills that are relevant to the job you’re applying for. Perhaps you belong to a club, society or sports team where you are demonstrating effective leadership, teamwork or problem solving skills.
If there are gaps in your CV it is essential to explain the reasons behind them. If you had a career break because you were caring for children or undertaking further education, as an example, make this a positive thing and think about the skills or knowledge you developed doing this. If the job you’re applying for is different from what you’ve done in the past, explain why you’re interested in this new type of role.
It’s good to have two or more people who can provide a work or personal reference. Ideally, one should be your most recent employer.