3 Steps to a Perfect CV
Step 1. Profile
This should include a summary of your career goals, with an insight into all your applicable skills. The Personal Profile on a CV should have no more than 4 sentences that show why you are a relevant candidate. Ensure your Personal Profile will leave a remarkable impression as it is at the very beginning of your CV.
It should mention who you are (Experienced Sales Professional/Aspiring Sales Professional), how long you have been in the industry, how you are relevant for the role (proven record of hitting high targets), and what you are searching for (looking for a new position within the sales field)
Example: A Sales Professional might say something like the following:
“A highly driven Sales Professional with seven years of sales experience for a well-known global brand and a proven record of hitting high individual sales targets. Excellent interpersonal skills and an abundance of experience in building strong relationships with clients. Currently seeking a new opportunity within the sales field.”
You can also add a quick skills section to add specific skills such as Cold Calling, KPI Monitoring, Meeting High Targets. But be prepared to provide more detailed explanations in the interview.
Step 2. Length & Layout – Less is More!
Use fonts like Times New Roman and other simple fonts, and avoid any distracting designs. Sections should have simple headings, with clear-cut information underneath.
Unfortunately, your CV is one of an endless pile of applications that the employer needs to get through, so if it is not easy to read – they may give it a skip. Avoid long paragraphs and focus on including detailed bullet points adding more points to relevant jobs.
The overall CV itself shouldn’t go beyond two pages to make sure it easily readable. If it appears too lengthy, your best information might go unread.
Relevancy – If you are struggling to fit all your previous roles into two pages - instead of writing 1-2 points on each, perhaps include the most impressive roles you learned and developed in your career. Quality over Quantity! Too many jobs on a CV may tire out the reader and might make them question why you have changed so much. Focus on the roles that are relative to the current role. You can leave out the babysitting job that you had back in 1992!
Back your information up with appropriate examples. Don’t just say, “Responsible for cold calling clients and informing them about the product on offer”.
“Responsible for cold calling clients and informing them about the product on offer. On average, I made 30 calls per day, whereby approximately 5 a day became loyal customers, ensuring that I met my monthly sales targets”.
Mention other achievements from previous roles and give them as much focus as the description of responsibilities. (Achieved 100% of yearly target in 2019, and 110% in 2018).
Don’t forget to include promotions and any notable accomplishments like training certificates completed in the workplace. Don’t undersell yourself!
For startup positions, include times where you stepped outside your job title to help the company or colleagues. Startup companies have small teams and need to hire versatile individuals who are sometimes open to other tasks outside their job description to help the business.
Step 3. Grammar
Little grammatical errors might imply that you lack attention to small details. Ensure that you re-read the CV numerous times and even ask someone else to do it for you. Sometimes we may not realize there are a few mistakes.
Watch out for:
Long sentences that do not flow well
There are great tools such as Grammarly, which you can download to help with this. Grammarly helps you to avoid these minor errors by alerting you when you’ve made a typo.