If you do a simple Google search you will end up with millions of websites showing you different ways of how to write a CV – I got 189 million results in 0.94 seconds.
You will find all sort of websites, ranging from the ones who provide you with a step by step guideline video to the ones who will actually guarantee you an interview if you follow their tips and they also post a number of testimonials relating to “success stories”.
If you skim through these websites, you will often realise that majority follow the same structure suggestions – “…make sure you include your personal details, list of skills set, work experience and qualifications …” – as if the purpose of writing a CV may not be so obvious or hinting that there might be some of their audience who were possibly thinking of using their CV for something else.
Whilst I agree that it’s important to list down the above-mentioned details, I do believe that these guidelines often miss out one important feature – how to be unique in your own way.
Being unique doesn’t necessarily mean being the odd one out or being a rebel who questions the processes or fights authority. It’s about being yourself and putting that personal touch when presenting yourself in a CV, especially when focusing on skills and experience. You might be in a University course of 200 students, but doesn’t mean that all students are identical and have the same qualities.
The same thing can be said to any job title in the world. There are similar job titles within different sectors, but doesn’t mean that every Accountant approaches their daily tasks in the same way or that every Developer on this planet is working on the same type of projects and facing the same challenges.
Working in recruitment means receiving a considerable number of CVs on a daily and weekly basis. It is always a great feeling when you see people relying on your expertise to help them out. But with that comes a lot of responsibility, especially when guiding candidates in the right career path direction or recommending profiles for the correct vacancies. Usually the best way to mitigate these risks is by giving the possibility to each candidate who is being interviewed to express themselves and be themselves. Everyone has his own story and it’s the recruiter’s responsibility to make sure to listen to these stories and guide them in the best way possible.
A suggestion I typically tend to give is that at whichever stage of your career you are at, there will always be something unique about yourself which could be relevant to your future employer. Sometimes, these are things which could be possibly taken for granted by the respective candidates, but which are still worth mentioning in a CV. If you are still a student it could your final thesis title, if you’re a senior candidate it could be your past achievements or track record. Anything which relates to you.
We were all born original, let’s not become a copy of each other.