How to get hired - CV advice for Internal Communications professionals
A lot of people ask me for advice and feedback on their CVs so I thought I would share some tips which, in my opinion, are the most successful in a competitive market place. I can’t stress enough that CVs are subjective, meaning there is no definite right or wrong way to write your resume, but from my experience, successful internal communications applicants tend to do the following:
Write the CV from the client’s perspective. I 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 and 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.
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.
My last bit of advice is around 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.
Hopefully, this is useful. If you would like to book in a call or coffee to discuss your CV and potential roles via VMAGROUP, please do get in touch.
Leanne Westcott | firstname.lastname@example.org | 0203 327 7625