Generally This CV Works …

You need to create a CV. You are looking for a new job, you know what type of job you want, you have narrowed it down to one or two options, but you don’t have a specific role to apply for yet so cant create your targeted CV. You would like to send something to an agency or to make a speculative application to a company, what can you do? You need to create the document that most people have; the general CV. But you need it to work in your favour because you still want it to get you a positive response and to generate some interviews, so it needs to be anything but general; here's how
This is not a five minute job. Set aside a few hours for this. Bear in mind what you want to achieve; a new role. Think about the salary that will command. You are more than justified to spend half a day on this project, yes or yes?
Ok, so you might have narrowed down two options. Maybe you have been working as a dental receptionist and you now want to either work in a dental environment or you would be happy to be a receptionist somewhere else. That is two different CVs; not one that is an either or story. Even when your CV is general it needs to be focused.
So, decide on an exact role (if you have more than one repeat this project for each). Now go and find four job specs for this position. Typically Google is able to help you with this, or you might be lucky enough to have some job specs in your inbox from positions you’ve already spotted. You might want to print them out so that you can put them side by side. Or just flick from screen to screen, whichever you’re most comfortable with. Now identify which requirements are in all four specs. These are top of your list to address in your CV. Create a bullet point for each one and list your achievements within that area. For example, if you are a Business Continuity Manager;


Company Requirements
Your Experience
         Three years relevant experience
         Five years experience as a Business Continuity Manager, predominantly within the telecommunications industry
         Incident management
         Managed twelve major incidents, including a move to our back-up site following a flood. Also involved with three third-party supplier incidents
         Used BS25999 to ensure a recognised standard is adhered to and that we could align with our supply chain
         Writing policies
         Wrote the business continuity plan for our end-user division which consisted of twenty-five documents, all of which were adopted at board level
         Conducting tests
         Wrote a format for twice yearly testing which we then ran across the organisation. I was responsible for coordinating the involvement and creating post test reports
Now see which requirements are on three of the specs and create the bullet points, then two and if you still don’t have much down, look at the individual requirements that are unique to each job spec. You want to create a minimum of eight bullets and a maximum of twelve for this to be a good, strong, informative CV that gives lots of information without becoming the sequel to War and Peace.
Next go to your previous job and do the same. You should detail your last three jobs, giving five to eight bullets on number two and three. Unless the fourth job you list happened within the last ten years you can write a minimal amount. I would recommend listing everything, even if you just include company name, dates and your job title for things that happened a long time ago.
This is the most perfect general CV that you can create. You are addressing mainstream requirements for the role you are interested in and most companies looking to fill that position will find your profile of interest. This obviously works best when your last few years experience are in the industry you wish to be in for the foreseeable future. Take time doing this, work on it, spell check it, perfect it, go to bed and look at it again the following day. Use this to apply for roles that hold the job title you searched against when you don’t have enough information to create a targeted CV.
For help creating a great CV or making the transition from where you are to where you want to be please contact one of our Consultant Coaches at

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