A lot of people ask us for advice and feedback on their CVs so we thought we would share some tips which, in our opinion, are the most successful in a competitive market place.
CVs are subjective, meaning there is no definite right or wrong way to write your resume, but from our experience, successful internal communications applicants tend to do the following:
Write the CV From the Client’s Perspective
We often see candidates writing about what they think is important from their past experience and education, rather than thinking about what the client is looking for. We all know the successful internal communications candidate is the person who can prove they can add the most value to the client so when writing your CV (and cover letter) think about ‘Why do they want to hire?’ ‘What are their pain points?’ ‘How can you make a difference to the business?’
Think of the Audience
Who are you writing this CV for? Yes, the hiring manager, but most of the time your CV has to get past HR and ATS machines (applicant tracking systems). Even if you go through a specialist agency, we don’t always have the direct communication with the line manager, therefore you need to be reflecting the language of the job description in your CV, so that someone who doesn’t understand internal communication can clearly and easily see your skills and experience are in line with what they are looking for.
Sell Your Unique Selling Proposition
What makes you stand out from the other 100 IC applicants who are applying? What difference can you bring to a company? What can you bring to the table that someone else may not be able to?
Take Some Time to Think About the Priorities of the Role & Reflect That in Your CV
If you’re applying for a role that is 70% internal comms, 20% external comms and 10% employee experience, don’t waste half your page talking about the events management skills you learnt in your last position, just because events were 50% of your last role. Definitely still mention it, but one bullet at the end of the list would be sufficient. Your CV should reflect the ratio of the skills required for the position you are applying for.
Have A Strong Opener
The average time spent looking at a CV is 5-7 seconds, so you don’t have much time to wow! the client. Your opening statement is your elevator pitch, and by listing your key achievements straight after your ‘profile’ you can get across the most important information straight away, rather than relying on the employer to find key experience on the second page.
The Two-Page Rule
If you are a senior internal communication professional with many years of experience, don’t miss out on crucial information just to keep it to two pages. Three pages are absolutely fine. A client has never turned a senior candidate down for having a three page CV, but have said no to candidates for not having enough experience.
Finally - SPELLING!
Nearly 70% of IC candidates (at all levels) still have spelling mistakes in their CV's. Always, always, double-check.
If you'd like to discuss your CV or potential hiring needs, please don't hesitate to get in touch with us.
VMA GROUP is a leading international interim, contract, temporary and permanent recruitment and executive search specialist. We are specifically focused on providing support to the communications, marketing, digital and change communities.
Our specialist practice areas cover: communications, corporate communications, internal communications, change communications, PR, media relations, financial communications, CSR, public affairs, investor relations, marketing, brand, digital marketing and agency services.
We have a reputation for providing expert consultancy services and advice, supported by in-depth knowledge of the professions we recruit for. Our thought leadership and benchmarking studies have become go-to resources for the communications, marketing, digital and change industries, supporting planning and decision-making for organisations of all shapes and sizes.
In the UK, VMA GROUP has offices in London, Bristol and Manchester and in Europe, VMA GROUP has offices in Amsterdam and Brussels, but we work with organisations and individuals on a global basis.
VMA GROUP is committed to equal opportunities and is an Inclusive+ Recruiter.