When we left University or the equivalent training scheme that set us on the path to professionalism, there was a clear CV writing formula. The formula was, no more than two pages, use as many jargon or buzz words as possible to show how up to date you are, include as much work experience as you can, use a bland font in a basic word document, make sure you include Microsoft Office as a skill… and definitely do not stray from the formula!
Times have changed quite dramatically over the life of the CV, the trick for senior managers, especially for those who haven’t spent as much time revising their CV throughout their career, is to move with the times and get cut-through in the recruitment sphere.
Getting to the point on your CV, in the coveted 2 pages, is still very much in vogue. The task for people with more experience is they have more experience, so deciding what to cover and what to delete can be quite the challenge. The balance is to know when to expand and when to keep it brief. What you need to imagine, is that the recruiter is looking at 20 CVs, all from people who have the basic qualifications and experience for the job, so why should they pick you?
Firstly, include a personal statement and be sure to include some poignant messaging that will pique interest and become a great interview topic for discussion. Give the recruiter and potential employer a genuine insight into what you are good at and who you are as a person.
Use a simple yet professional looking template, a clear, genuine (this isn’t Tinder) photo, ensuring your personal email conveys the right tone – We have all seen those hilarious Hotmail/gmail addresses, just make sure this is not what your employer sees, you wouldn’t want them to draw the wrong conclusion! Additionally, do make sure you pack your CV with appropriate key words, this will help the skim-reading of your CV gain real impact, heightening the opportunity to get short-listed for more scrutiny.
Most importantly, remember the real meat of the CV still remains the experience and the skills. Keep it relevant, don’t be afraid to summarise or delete experience that isn’t relevant or interesting. Also, don’t assume that either the recruiter or employer understands your previous role in its entirety – if you did something unique, ground breaking or out of the norm, and it’s relevant to the potential new role, include it and expand!
Technology is always an area of development for companies, make sure you include any relevant skills that show you are savvy, embrace change, and like to keep your training (even if out of work) up to date. No, having ‘Microsoft Office’ as a skill does not count as being ‘savvy’ these days.
For potential employees looking to expatriate, especially to jurisdictions such as the Cayman Islands, it is important you highlight how and why you would fit into the Cayman Financial Services sector, both in terms of a professional and cultural context. In a nutshell, make sure you emphasize why you would be the right person for the job.
Michele Aubert is a Human Resources Management Expert with over 25 years of experience. She is the Managing Director of Affinity Recruitment Ltd. Affinity’s focus is in the recruitment for the following sectors: Financial Services, Legal, Public, Management Accounting, IT and general Office Administration.