The layout of your CV as it is traditionally known is critical. We prefer to call it your Profile as it includes more than a list of your experiences and skills.
The pace at which contractor/recruiting sector moves demands that your profile sells you as best it can from a simple scan and keyword search.
In our experience far too many contractors sell themselves so short with their CVs – there is no need for it.
We have seen amazing candidates with poorly created CV’s loose out on phenomenal opportunities. Only 12% of CV’s that we receive show the candidate at their best. On average about 20% are OK and the rest ranges from bad to really really bad.
This is your window – your window of opportunity and you get only ONE brief fleeting chance to get shortlisted. It is estimated that a recruiter typically spends 10 seconds scanning a CV and if there is nothing in that initial scan that grabs them – you have potentially lost the opportunity.
Recruiters receive more than 200 CV’s for an advertised position
That is a lot of CV’s for a recruiter to scrutinies when they have deadlines imposed by their own KPI’s as well as client demands. It is not the most invigorating part of the job of recruitment so they want to get it done as quickly as possible. So make it easy for them to select you.
Don’t just submit a CV – submit a Profile that is –
Easy to read – including font and size selection
Complete in information
Layout concise – succinct and comprehensive in as few words as possible.
Always name the file with your name followed by the month and year it was updated
Your CV/ Profile needs to include –
1. Full Name, Address (this is important), E-mail Address, Mobile Number
*Eligibility to Work in the UK
*Link to your LinkedIn Profile (make sure it is up to date with a professional looking photo of yourself)
*Link to a 2 minute video of you talking about your experience and why you are a great choice as a contractor for a company
*Your Profession Title and Key Area of Expertise – example Program/Project Manager – DataWarehouse / BI Architect
*List core strengths and skills. – example Project Manager / Program Manager / Budgeting / Resource Management / Vendor Management / Project Planning / Forecasting
*List Technical Skills – example Data Architect / Business Analysis / Data Modeling / Design / Business Intelligence / Data Warehousing
*List Tools Sets Experience – example Oracle / SQL Server / Informatica
*Experience in Industries – example London Market / Lloyd’s Market / Insurance
*Distance you are prepared to travel to worL
Security Clearance – if you have any
3. Career Expertise Summary
Create a table for this as follows –
ALL OF THE ABOVE NEEDS TO BE ON PAGE 1 – No matter how many years experience you have!!!!!! no exception!
Whilst it is nice to read about a candidates self proclaimed character – for example ‘I am a trustworthy team player who is delivery focused….’ etc – that is just noise – Resist the temptation to write paragraphs on your character – stick to what is relevant – your experience!!
Your level of experience reflects your character!
The only time the rest of your CV will get eye balled is if the recruiter has identified you as a possible shortlist and will then possibly want more detailed information.
4. Page 2 and The Rest of your CV
Starting with the latest role, list your positions giving a little bit of information about each position you’ve held, also state if it was a contract or permanent if you have experience of both. The further back in time you go, the less information is required.
A general rule of thumb layout as follows –
XXX Consulting Ltd, London October 2015 – January 2016
Senior Project Manager Contract
Briefly list Toolsets and Technologies used
Key Role Description in Bullet form
Achievements and deliveries
In earlier roles keep description to maximum two lines.
5. Education & Training
Especially for contractors this is not as essential as for a permanent role – so keep it brief and to the point. If you are a younger contractor then compensate for your lower number of years (compared with a more experienced and older contractor) by putting this on the first page.
If you are a more experienced contractor it is ideal to put this at the end.
6. Key Technologies & Results
If your role is very technical you can insert an APPENDIX and insert a table where you expand on Technologies used or any secondary skills
Or alternatively if your role requires specific results based criteria like SALES you can use this to list key achievements and results – what you delivered, and in what timescale.
There is not need to include details of hobbies and non related skills – this is normally done to demonstrate character type and personality – but as contractor need to hot the ground running with little settling in time – this is not very relevant to the client.
Remember the point of a Profile / CV is to get you an interview – once you have the interview you will be able to demonstrate your personality then.
You will not endear yourself to a recruiter by simply forwarding your CV with no cover letter or explanation as to why you are applying when you do not have the relevant expertise or experience.
This is a very common occurrence and contributes to the recruiters frustration levels when trying to shortlist the best possible candidates for the role. If collectively all contractors ceased to do this – it would have a benefit for all involved in the career of a contractor as well as recruiter.