Who are YOU? Presenting yourself with a compelling and accurate CV
Three Silver Bullets
- Keep your letter of application to one page Include why you want the role and what you would bring to it.
- Avoid repeating information from your CV.
- The interviewers may not have read your CV. They want to get to know YOU, the experience you bring, and your approach to the role if you were to be appointed.
What is in a powerful CV?
A CV is literally ‘the course of your life’, and includes your employment history and your successes and achievements. It includes some personal information such as your capabilities, skills and attributes.
Compelling CVs are tailored for each position. While CV’s in Britain are brief, academic CVs are likely to be lengthy and include details of publications. Currently in the public sector, a CV would be up to 6 pages long and include:
- a cover page with your name and qualifications
- one page with key attributes and capabilities written in the third person
- your employment history with 4 – 5 success and achievements in each major role (up to 3 pages)
then one page including
- education and leadership training
- Referees names and contact details
Be the Jazz trumpeter – Four rules for writing successes and achievements
1. Begin each achievement with a verb: Established, implemented, Led, Produced, Created
2. Describe the activity
3. Use another verb e.g enabling, assisting, resulting in, identifying savings of, ensuring…..
4. Then add the outcomes achieved
Here’s an example:
1. Initiated and led
2. the streamlining and automating HR processes
4. speedier recruitment and appointments,managers having immediately accessible online leave reporting; and significantly reduced operating costs.
Identify 5 – 6 of these for each role you have had. Readers would want to gain a sense of your capacities as empathetic change agent, accomplished leader, innovator and for your capacities for financial prudence.
Guidelines for the interview
- Greet the interviewers when you enter the room
- Respond to questions, rather than giving the ‘right’ answer
- Project yourself into the role, with ‘what you would see me doing is’ or ‘I would approach that by….’
- Know why you want this role and what you can contribute
- Be prepared to describe your leadership practice simply (how you build teams, change culture, increase engagement, manage performance, collaborate with peers) when asked questions like ‘How would you go about…?
- Use ‘I’, rather than ‘we’ in your responses. You are being interviewed, not the team you lead.
- Relate to the interviewers as peers – yes you want this role, and yes they hold the decision. When you are appointed, you are likely to be peers, so act as a peer now
- After the interview, have a coffee and debrief with a valued colleague or friend. Discuss how you went and reflect on your experience of the interview
Increase your chances of being shortlisted: Contact Diana to assist you update your CV and prepare for interviews.
© Diana Jones