CV Writing: Put yourself in the shoes of the reader
It is generally not a great idea to wear other people’s shoes. However, there are exceptions. As a concept, placing yourself in the shoes of the reader is a cornerstone of good communications.
You write a piece of communication to elicit a reaction. You therefore have to understand what will resonate with the reader. You have to understand things from their point of view. This is the essential perspective when writing your CV.
Who do you write a CV for?
You don’t write a CV for yourself. The primary purpose of a CV is to make the decision of calling you to interview as easy as possible. It is about connecting your career story to where you want to be next. You therefore have to have a vision for your future. The clearer your vision, the better you can target the CV. So, within your field of finance, what job titles are you aiming for? Everything starts from here…
Job descriptions and person specifications
When you have identified the job types you are aiming for do some online research and find 3 or 4 job descriptions that best fit your ideal role. Read these carefully. The person specification is the more important document as this details the criteria any application will be assessed against. Look at the key terms and phrases. Identify common themes across the documents, this will build your understanding of what employers are looking for. This insight is invaluable and the secret to writing a great CV.
Values and culture
While your accounting and financial skills are paramount, it is important to show empathy with the values and culture of an organisation. Every year countless resources are wasted on recruitment exercises where individuals join and only stay for a few months. Many companies have information on their values and culture on their website. Weave this information into your CV and cover letter and you are really taking that extra step to landing an interview.
Now you can start writing your CV
Once you’ve identified the requirements for your target roles and researched the company you are ready to start writing your CV. Write in third person to give a sense of objectivity. When writing in first person there is a tendency to begin every sentence ‘I am..’ or ‘I did…’ It sounds like me, me, me. Make sure you include the relevant key terms and phrases from the person specification and align your CV to the behaviours and values of the organisation you are applying for.
By writing your CV from the employers’ point of view, you are more likely to prompt that positive reaction from the reader into saying ‘yes’ to inviting you to interview.
This article is written by Neville Rose, Director of CV Writers.
CV Writers are the official CV partner to ACCA Careers.