CV Tips: Are You Making The Most Of Your Role Description?
Perhaps the most important area of your CV is where you list your current and previous roles: the role description. Here potential employers and recruiters can gain a clear understanding of whether you have the experience necessary for their job opportunity, and what additional value you will bring their organisation.
All too frequently we see CVs where this opportunity has been missed. Instead of highlighting what you do/did and what you’ve achieved, some candidates only include the bare minimum of information such as their job title, dates of employment and employer. Even if you’ve worked for some well known organisations and think that you’re job title is self-explanatory, you should maximise this chance to really spell out your fit and the value you could bring to the role.
So what do employers want to know about your current and previous positions? Here is our list of essential factors to include in this section of your CV.
Role Description: What To Include In Your CV
Summary: A brief summary of your current role will help recruiters scan your job descriptions / experience for key pieces of information. It may also be a good idea to do the same for any previous role that is pertinent to the job you’re applying for. For example, if you have very relevant experience in the employer’s specific field that perhaps your current role doesn’t address.
Company description: It can be helpful to provide a brief description of what your previous companies do, especially if they are large organisations that operate in different areas. This will help recruiters understand where you fit into the big picture, the function of the team you worked in and the type of work carried out.
Responsibilities: Next you should outline your responsibilities, not listing the minutiae of your day, but including the most important duties you carried out throughout your time in that employment. Make sure it is plain how your responsibilities contributed to the organisation or project’s objectives. For example, instead of stating that you ‘managed a team’ say you ‘managed the team to deliver x,y and z.’
Achievements and Results: While the implication may be that you delivered on your responsibilities, a hiring manager doesn’t actually know how well you performed your role. Backing up your responsibilities and achievements with some facts and figures will help them see the value you delivered in the role.
Provide detail in relevant areas: If you’ve had a long career, or worked on a large variety of projects, you may struggle to keep your CV to the recommended 2 pages in length. Generally employers will focus on your last couple of roles and these can include more details than those earlier in your career. However, if you are returning to a role that you’ve taken a career break from, perhaps having made a move into a different department or industry, it can be helpful to draw the recruiter’s attention to an earlier position that is more relevant than your current one.
Demonstrating commitment: Recruiters looking for long-term commitment from prospective employees, may be put off by candidates with ‘portfolio’ careers, or those who have had many jobs in a short space of time. Here it is helpful to really focus on the positive ROI you delivered, even when in a role for a short period of time. If you can show that the investment in recruiting and on boarding you paid off, they’ll be more likely to take your application to the next stage.
Remember To Sell Yourself: While your CV has to be factually accurate, it doesn’t have to be dull. You want to capture the attention of employer and give them an immediate impression that you’re the right person for the job. Write in a professional but personable way, engaging with the reader and installing confidence in your capabilities.
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