Everyone knows how the process works. You need the right CV to get a job interview. And if the CV isn’t up to scratch – no job interview.
So – you need to build a CV for each individual job? But that’s easier said than done…………………
Top UK search recruiter Wynne Consulting are here to give you some guidance on how to best align your experience with each particular job. So – what if:
1) The job requires a “Team Player”.
Many people dislike this business “buzz-word” – but it’s a core component of most job specifications. What it means is you demonstrating your ability to work easily and successfully with other people; but as a team “member” not a “manager”. Come up with examples when you’ve worked successfully on a project with colleagues. Focus on outcomes, and where you’ve successfully solved problems as a group that would otherwise not have been solved single-handed. Some examples could be:
- Key member of a team which delivered our new product on time & to budget; which grew company sales by 25% in it’s first year of launch.
- Worked closely in a team of 5 to develop a new marketing proposition for a new business unit.
- Our UK R&D team solved some obsolescence issues with our sister company in Canada which were causing a loss of market share to our competitors.
Some useful words & phrases to use are: “as part of”, “worked with”, collaborated, “our group solved the problem”, contributed.
2) The job requires a “multi-tasker”.
Many roles will require you to deal with multiple tasks simultaneously, whilst keeping calm and making good decisions. The key is planning & strategy In a fast-paced environment this is likely to be the difference between success and failure. So – some examples could be:
- Dealing with the issues from 8 reports which each require a resolution within 1 hour.
- Made 50 outgoing calls per day to hit my KPI’s and generate sufficient enquiries to close enough deals.
- Kept 30 schoolchildren entertained and stimulated through efficient lesson planning & effective management of their many questions and observations.
Some useful words & phrases to use are: organise, prioritize, multi-task, coordinate, delegate, “cope under pressure”, fast-response.
3) The job requires leadership skills.
It’s easy to talk about your leadership achievements if you are in a leadership role; but what if you are not directly managing people? How do you get around this issue? Think about how you can detail your experience in leading a task, team or business. Talk about how you took responsibility whether asked to or not. How you led a task, project, team or a group of people – both in work & non-work situations. It’s not all about direct leadership. Talk about when you’ve taken initiative in a situation & helped friends or colleagues. Some examples could be:
- Led a sub-team on the large project which was delivered on-time and to budget.
- Helped 2 colleagues who were struggling with our new I.T. system to get to grips with the software & appreciate the benefits it brings to the job.
- Worked with a colleague during a challenging time following a divorce; and ensured they were able to finish their project to a high standard.
- Took on the management of my son’s football team – which would have otherwise closed down due to a lack of adult leaders.
- Led a team of 6 reports.
Some useful words & phrases to use are: led, facilitated, oversaw, resolved, helped, “took on”.
4) The job requires analytical skills.
Think of your experiences where you’ve had to make decisions based on data, number and information. These roles are becoming much more important; 90% of the entire data created by humanity was created in the last 2 years alone! Some examples could be:
- Helped save £50,000 over the last 2 years by identifying a hidden major inefficiency in our service calls. By mapping the routes our service engineers took and analysing the data we were able to reduce the distance travelled by 10%; hence saving fuel, vehicle costs & increasing the number of calls per week the service engineers were able to make.
- Solved a major quality issue which had dragged our new product release. Using failure data & mapping that against the bill of materials we were able to identify the issue was caused by a particular suppliers’ defective quality systems. We switched suppliers and the quality issue disappeared!
- Helped our students improve their exam results by 15% in my subject – simply by identifying a consistent weakness in 2 areas. We built an intensive study plan to strengthen those areas and the results were significant.
Some useful words & phrases to use are: analyzed, researched, inefficiency, “solved a problem”.
5) The job requires creative skills
Think of how you’ve used your creative skills. This can be concepts, ideas or innovative solutions to a problem. Where have you come up with something wacky or unusual which has solved a problem & led to success? It’s not all about the traditional definition of “creative” – so you don’t have to talk about design, art, etc. Pretty much everyone can come up with some example of where they’ve had a creative way to solve a problem so dig deep. Some ideas:
- Following feedback from client about our “dated” marketing material; I decided to come up with a new concept to focus on our “cradle-to-grave” service. Design is not my strength; but the creative experts were able to use my basic concept to come up with something amazing.
- I built a new website page concept which helped us to capture inquiries from the German market which our English website wasn’t servicing. It was pretty basic – but it did the job and led to a 300% increase in orders from Germany in the first 3 months.
- My colleague and I developed a new idea for a complimentary product whilst stuck in an airport in the US waiting for the snowstorm to pass. Our NPD team took the concept and 5 years later, it’s our biggest seller.
Some useful words & phrases to use are: developed, created, inspired, built, conceived, concept.
6) The job requires “Self-starter” skills.
Here you can point out all of those great examples of when you’ve worked on your own, “under your own steam” and without specific direction from a manager. Most companies want people with “get up & go” so if you need to demonstrate these skills here’s some ideas:
- Sales were dropping in the new area I took on, so I put together a plan & met the top 30 biggest spend clients in the next 90 days. The Sales Director loved it – and he’s embraced it as the “blueprint” for all new starters.
- The new MD had his hands full fire-fighting, so in my new role I took the initiative to make sure everyone in the finance team knew what they were doing, and had an outlet for any queries, issues or worries. This stabilised thing until the new FD joined.
- The company newsletter to clients hadn’t been published for 18 months, so I volunteered to get it back up and running. We won 2 major orders – directly as a result of clients hearing about our new service through the newsletter.
Some useful words & phrases to use are: volunteered, “took control”, “on my own initiative”, “stepped-up”.
So – for any job you are interested in; try and break it down into the “key skills” they are looking for, and make sure you are aligning your experience to the skills of the job.
If you need any help – ask the experts at Wynne Consulting and we will be happy to help.
Good Luck. #wynneconsulting