Why you should always use examples in your CV
In any job application you need to create a point of difference, something that is going to capture the attention of the reader, something that no-one else will have done in exactly the same way as you.
This is invariably going to be an achievement. An example of something you have done at work that shows how good you are at your job. You need to define it and then present it in a clear compelling fashion, ideally supported with facts and figures.
You are not a job description
Many job seekers copy and paste information straight out of a job description. This results in a very generic description of a hypothetical role. Job descriptions often start ‘the postholder will…’ and believe me, I have often seen these words reproduced in a CV. Something that is anticipating a future action recorded as someone’s work history. It just doesn’t make sense on so many levels.
Tell your own story
The reality of the job you do is what you want your CV to convey. You may be one of several people in your organisation all with the same job description, however, each of you will have your own story to tell. It is your individual story you need to get across. Think about how your role has changed over time. Perhaps you have been additional responsibilities. If you think chronologically, you can describe the job as it started out and how it is now. There is always a story to tell.
Make your examples specific
The key to giving your story meaning and life is to give specific examples of things you have achieved. These could be anything from projects you’ve managed to processes or procedures that have help improved efficiency. They could be sales targets reached or customers satisfied. You know what success looks like in your role. Showing that success with specific examples will really get recruiters excited about meeting you.
Show outcomes with facts and figures
It is not what we do that counts, it is the results. The way to make your examples really stand out is to focus on their effects. The outcomes and results. Most achievements result in a measurable improvement in some way. From customer service ratings to time saved, from profits improved to costs reduced. Adding facts and figures adds a real sense of concreteness to your CV.
This article is written by Neville Rose, Director of CV Writers.