Lesson 3, Session 2
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What does Good Look Like?

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We will come to ‘design’ later but in terms of content, your CV/ resume needs to be rammed with statements that emphasise the value that you delivered, that answer the question WIIFM – (what’s in it for me).  

Remember the sole purpose of your CV/ resume is to open up a discussion and/or interview.

As such, you must do the thinking for the reader and make it easy for them to say – wow, that’s interesting, I wonder….

Don’t forget that we are all motivated by the two factors of moving away from Pain and moving towards Pleasure – ensure that each statement on your CV/ Resume/ profiles focus on at least one of these.  

Let’s demonstrate with a simple example;

A typical CV will include a statement such as; “Reviewed end to end process, removed duplication and reduced time to complete by 10%”

On the face of it, this highlights some element of value but if everyone is positioning themselves in this way, how do you stand out from the crowd? 

To make this statement really stand out, let’s really investigate what that 10% means to the client/ employer.  Let’s try to put a value on that 10% – how many man-hours did this save? what is the average cost of each man-hour? over the course of 12 months, what is the overall saving? how did this saving improve customer service? did this improvement result in higher levels of sales?  These are the types of questions that you need to be asking.

Once you do this,  you might find that the above statement can now read like; “Reduced costs by £348,560 p.a. whilst increasing average sales value to £432 (from £398) which will deliver circa £450k additional revenue in the next 12 months by simplifying and automating XYZ process”

If you have two CVs in front of you one including the first statement and one the second, which will you naturally want to talk to?

Let’s quickly look at another example: “Introduced a staff engagement survey and moved the dial from 6 out of 10 to 8 out of 10 within 12 months”. Again, think about the impact of this on the organisation – did the improvement in scores affect staff retention? did it support a recruitment process? did it have an impact on customer service? 

An alternative way to describe this would be; “Reduced staff attrition rates by 20%, saving the company an estimated £175,000 p.a in recruitment/ induction costs, by designing & implementing a staff engagement survey and driving an action plan to improve the areas highlighted” 

Go back to you CV/ resume and review every statement that you have made and attempt to rewrite each with the above process in mind.  Some will not be easy to assign a £/$ value to, immediately. However, by asking some of the questions above, you probably can make an educated estimate at the financial value delivered.  When doing so, look for both cost savings and revenue enhancements within each activity – in most cases you will be able to find both!

Don’t worry if you need to drop any of the activities that you had in your CV/ resume because you can’t attribute value in this way – these were not adding any value to your CV in any case!

Now you have a clear understanding of your Value Proposition, you have your “Elevator Pitch’ sorted and a list of ‘Value focused’ experiences ready to drop into your CV/ profiles, you’re all set to go. Aren’t you?

Not quite!

To really change the rules of the game and to stand out from the crowd, you need to make your CV/ resume/ online profiles look and feel different. What you have done so far is to ensure that once you’ve got the attention of a recruiter, a hiring manager or a potential client, the way that you describe the value that you can deliver will encourage action and the start of a discussion.  However, that is all wasted time if you can’t grab their attention in the first place!  As they are looking through the list of 20/30 CVs/resumes, yours needs to jump out at them – it needs to be different, it needs to shout – STOP, YOU NEED TO INVESTIGATE THIS FURTHER!


Take a look at Option A & Option B – which one grabs your attention immediately?

Option A is better than most CVs/ Resumes that we see, but I’m sure that you will agree that Option B is more attention grabbing – and that’s before you get into the detail.

Option B would be further enhanced by having a ‘head and shoulders’ image included.  You may feel uncomfortable in including such an image but remember what is the purpose of your CV/ resume – it is simply to get the reader to think – I need to meet/ open up a dialogue with this person.

We are attracted to faces – so utilise this natural attraction grabber within your CV/ resume – take advantage of this fact, don’t shy away from it!

Option A
Option B