Today we talked to Tony Bond of RealPotential to look at how CVs can be used in different ways & discuss if one size fits all. We hope this helps you are you prepare for your job search.
Tony’s email is TBond@realpotential.ie
Our mission is to help parents returning to work & support working parents. Our goal is to champion family friendly & flexible jobs & workplaces.
J: Hi – Justin O’Keeffe from Talent Force Improvement, continuing our mission to find parents who are returning to work or simply people who are looking for more family-friendly or flexible roles. Today we’re very, very lucky to be joined by Tony Bond who has over 20 years of experience in helping people work around their careers and career development. Today, Tony, we’re going to talk about CVs. They’re a very difficult topic for anybody looking to get back into the job market, looking for a job. So the first thing I’d ask is what is the goal of the CV? What are you trying to achieve when you draft up that piece of paper? Is it to tell your life story?
T: Well, the point and purpose of the CV is to get a job interview. It’s as simple as that. And that’s especially the case when you’re actually going for a job similar to the one that you actually do or your previous role. So if you think about what’s actually taking place in the interview, they’re looking for people who can do the job right now. So the purpose of your CV is simply to match the job spec. So if you want to think of it in terms of an equation, it is ‘they want = I have done’.
J: Very good.
T: So done means you can prove what you say you’re good at.
J: Very good. So evidence, stories, action verbs. Now, if you’re changing career and looking into change profession or change your career trajectory, what advice would you have for somebody who’s looking for that? Many of our candidates are in this boat?
T: Okay. So, what you’re talking about there is what’s called a functional CV and the emphasis in a functional CV is what you’re actually good at. So, in terms of structure, start with a profile or what you’re actually up to in terms of a career. And then if you expand five to six areas of expertise, knowledge, with each of those you talk about a proving statement and achievement, that means that they can actually link what you say you’re good at with something that you’ve done. And as you progress through the CV and as the reader is going through it, they’re building up almost like a brochure of you. By the time you get to where you’ve actually worked, they’ve already decided what you’re good at. So the emphasis is less on the label of your previous job title and where you worked in the sector, and much more on you and what you’re capable of.
J: So the story, really the message, Tony, is it should not be a one-size-fits-all approach to CVs. It’s not something that you can draft and you’re done, you’re ready to go. Now, are there any other sorts of CVs out there? I don’t think there is a one-size-fits-all. It should be customized for a job, it should reflect the job. Are there any sorts of CVs you’d suggest people work on as they get ready for their job search?
T: Yeah, when you’re networking. So networking is when you’re going to see people, you’re going to get advice, suggestions and above all else other names.
J: It’s the classic, having a cup of coffee with someone to just meet or to introduce yourself.
T: Yeah, one-page CV. The advantage of a one-page CV, it doesn’t nail, it’s not a full CV, it doesn’t give everything away, but it gives enough about you to get interest, typically in terms of layout, what you’re after at the top or a profile, your core competencies. No more than 3 achievements.
J: And would you suggest handing it over as a nice piece of [inaudible 03:07] after the discussion, after the chat? Or would you follow up with an email?
T: I’d follow it up because apart from everything else, you did get their email address and also if you’re exchanging CVs or if you’re passing CVs, that doesn’t necessarily look at say a network meeting or it looks like you’re pushing. Probably best just to follow it up and you can maybe tinker it just a bit depending on how the conversation went.
J: So as far as the physical document, the sending it, the proof reading, the length, Tony, these are the most common questions we get. What would your advice be as a professional working in this area?
T: Yeah, so general tips: use a PDF format, particularly when you’re sending in. Tend to be system friendly. Maximum 3 pages, people always talk about lengths. One or two or three page, but certainly no more than three. Always get someone else to proof read it for you. That’s always a really good idea. Particularly someone who knows what you’re after, someone who has done a similar career or what’re over a point for.
J: Okay, so the fresh eyes. A fresh pair of eyes who sit there – and there are always typos. You work in this area, you’ve seen many CVs.
T: Absolutely, yeah.
J: So, if you have one small gem, one small nugget which would help people have an impact on the day of the interview, what would that be, Tony?
T: Always bring the CV with you that you sent to the employer at the interview. No one expects you to remember everything. It is a business meeting and that’s what the interview is working off.
J: So just in case that interviewer hasn’t had the time to print it out, the printer is jammed or whatever… Tony, thank you so much for your insights. Really appreciate it, I hope this helps you if you’re watching this video. Tony can be, Tony’s email at the bottom of this video; myself and Julia are always looking to speak with great candidates and great companies who specialize in the area of flexible working or people who are looking to return to work. Feel free to shoot me an email, firstname.lastname@example.org or give me a call: 01 9081514. Thank you so much for your time. Take care, bye-bye!