And some tips on how to craft an eye catching one.
We all know there’s an art to creating a good CV. And if you’re applying for a marketing role, there is absolutely no excuse for selling yourself poorly.
My work often involves helping set up a marketing function within organisations that perhaps have never had one, or have never had to recruit for one. So I’ve met a lot of people and seen a lot of CVs.
Just for fun, I’ve mapped my top tips for CV creation against some of the Watertight Marketing Touchpoint Leaks™. Being a licensed practitioner at Watertight Marketing, the term ‘leaks’ comes up time and time again. If you think about it, your CV could be leaking credibility through poor presentation, so here’s my favourite ways to plug those leaks.
There’s nothing worse than a CV that’s not been updated or tailored to reflect back the specific application. Don’t produce just one CV and pump it out for every job that you apply for. You need to bespoke it for each application and write it in a way that proves you have understood the application criteria and what it is they’re looking for. Definitely go the extra mile here.
For me, there’s nothing worse than a poorly laid-out (and written) CV. It literally wipes the smile off my face – especially if you are a marketer. How your CV ‘looks’ and sounds (tone of voice) should make you feel proud and me sit up and look. Because it tells me a few things about you:
Also, unless you are completing an online application form, always send me a PDF version of your CV with embedded fonts. There’s nothing worse than a wonky Word document that opens up all skewif because my settings and fonts are not the same as yours.
Keep your design simple. And don’t name your PDF ‘CV’ – give it a proper logical name with the your name, the date! the word ‘CV’, and the job role you are applying for in it.
Another top tip here is always put your name, contact details (and job title) top right on your actual CV. I will have a pile of printed CVs on my desk and I’ll be thumbing through them with my eye always going top right. Put things in your layout where I would expect to find them! and be helpful with the information you include. And while you’re at it, how about including a photo if you?
And the cardinal sin is typos. There should absolutely definitely be none in your document. Get a few people to read it for you before you send it out.
Two pages of A4 is just right for a CV – one page is too thin – more than two and I don’t have time to read it (I’ve got dozens to get through).
Also, if you have been asked to provide a two-page CV, provide a two-page CV. And be mindful that if you send a two page CV in Word and I open it on my computer, my settings are different to yours (margins etc). It might get pushed over to three pages, so now I think you can’t answer a brief. See also point 2 above.
And now on to structure. Put all the ‘generic’ information at the end (education, qauls, interests and hobbies etc) and get the point quickly at the top (your USP). Here’s some headings for my ideal structure:
As a marketer the term ‘added value’ should mean something to you, so find a way of demonstrating or highlighting the ‘added value’ that would come with employing you. Why you’re the best choice. Even include a supplemented document or proposal here. Go the extra mile.
I could go on and on and map some ideas against the other nine touchpoint leaks as well, but I hope these initial suggestions prove useful. And if you are working with a recruiter to help further your career, getting your CV into shape this way before sending it in to them will certainly help them help you.
Good luck and go for it!
Regular readers of my posts will know that I am a Watertight Marketing Certified Practitioner. This means I one of the licensed consultants in currently the first of its kind in the UK. Find out more about Watertight Marketing here, or even download a free sample of the award-winning book of the same name from their website. A must read for any marketing professional.
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Helps small businesses stop wasting money on marketing. Watertight Marketing Certified Practitioner, MCIM Chartered Marketer and mentor.