04 Jan The CV Stylist Common Questions
I love chatting to people about how they can make the best of themselves in order to land their dream job. It’s such a privilege to work with so many interesting, experienced and unique professionals. When I work 1:1 with people I have time to help them in depth and can answer all their questions. Lots of other people have lots of questions for me too, but unfortunately there just aren’t enough hours in the day to answer all the emails I get on the topic. But I still really want to help.
That’s why I’ve put together here a list of the most common questions I get asked again and again about CV writing, interview preparation, LinkedIn profile writing, and personal branding. I’ve tried to give you as many insights and ideas as possible to help.
Hopefully I’ve covered off the areas you’re interested in finding out more about. If I’ve missed anything, please feel free to post in the comments box. Happy reading!
Q. Why is it important to rewrite my CV for every opportunity?
Your CV is your prime opportunity to showcase your experience, skills and talent. It needs to work hard to reflect you and your background in the best light, but it also needs to show your target employer that you fit with the current skills and experience gaps they have in their organisation. The only way to do this successfully, and to maximise your chance to getting an interview, is to tailor your CV targeting it to the individual job you’re going for each and every time. Every job is unique. You need to harness this fact to your advantage. By approaching each job application in this way you will be able to get ahead of other applicants, many of whom will have used a more generic CV and approach.
If you really want that job, then it’s worth investing a bit of time and energy now to give yourself the very best shot at landing it. You’re far more advantaged by spending time tailoring a few, highly targeted applications to some select organisations rather than spending the same amount of time sending out generic CVs and applications in a scattergun way to tons and tons of organisations. Think targeted and spend your time there.
Q. How do I know if my CV is good enough?
Well, in this increasingly competitive job market ‘good enough’ isn’t good enough anymore. Your CV needs to be outstanding to stand out from the crowd. The CV Stylist currently offers a free CV review (for a limited time only), so if you would like an expert to take a look then we will give you an honest opinion as well as offer you specific advice on how you could improve things.
Even some of the world’s leading CEOs benefit from an expert eye on their CV to help them make the most impact. However illustrious or successful your career to date has been, your CV could nearly always be improved further, particularly if you’re aiming for even more exciting and challenging opportunities.
Q. Why do I need a strong LinkedIn profile? What’s all this about SEO?
LinkedIn is a valuable resource for recruiters and headhunters worldwide, and it’s becoming increasingly relevant to professionals and executives across all sectors, with people using it more and more every single day. It’s a fantastic place to network and find out about new opportunities. If you’re applying for a new job, then more than likely the recruiter or employer will check out your LinkedIn profile at some stage of the process.
To get noticed, your LinkedIn profile needs to hit a number of key SEO criteria to come out towards the top of any searches recruiters do to find individuals like you with your background and skills. Depending on your level of seniority, having a content-heavy and complete LinkedIn profile is really important in today’s job market. We can help you tailor and tweak your profile to the right level (contrastingly, if you’re C-Suite / Board level then in fact a content-heavy, too detailed profile could be doing you a disservice). You need to pitch yourself just right.
Finding new ways to connect and engage through LinkedIn is increasingly important. The CV Stylist can help you build up your LinkedIn profile, teach you the nuances of the platform and help you get to the top of searches so that you are more likely to get contacted about relevant job opportunities in the future.
Q. What about a Video CV? Do I need one?
Video CVs are gaining in popularity all the time, especially with larger corporations and in certain sectors e.g. creative industries, design, marketing, social media. It’s often cited that Video CVs will become a main part of the standard application process in just a few years’ time. So, it’s worth getting your head around them now.
Q. How does interview coaching work?
It’s hard to know how well you perform at interview. The feedback you get from previous interviewers (if you’re lucky enough to even get any!) is often veiled in politeness and can be misleading or even dismissive. So how do you know how you perform, and how you could do better?
Interview Coaches help you develop both your style and technique, and your content and delivery. The CV Stylist can work with you to develop and practice high impact answers, and create evidenced stories and examples that you can use for multiple interview questions and scenarios. We can help you build up an adaptable interview toolkit that focuses your mind and makes a big impact, in all the right ways.
Q. What are your key tips for the day of a job interview?
There are lots of things you can do on interview day to help yourself feel confident and prepared, and to put you in a great job-winning mindset.
Check out our blog post here about all the great things you can and should be doing.
Q. What is personal branding and why does it matter?
Personal branding is the practice of marketing yourself and your career as a brand. It’s essentially about self-positioning.
Self-packaging yourself in this way is no longer just for the likes of Richard Branson or Victoria Beckham. It’s becoming increasingly important for all types of professionals and executives. How you present yourself and market yourself both online and offline can be critical for career success. Managing your online identity, across multiple platforms, has become a foundation of job search strategies as more and more employers use social media tools to vet applicants before offering them interviews or job offers.
Q. How often should I update my CV?
Great question! It makes it easier if you keep on top of updating your CV for each and every job you do. This way you can record all the key achievements and responsibilities of your roles whilst they are still fresh in your mind. This is particularly helpful for remembering key financials or numbers (e.g. direct reports, budget responsibilities, impact on bottom line) which people often forget if they try to recall them a year or so later. In our experience, however much people think they will remember later on, they don’t. Even if you don’t actually write this info into your actual CV document, it’s worth keeping a note somewhere of all the key points and information so you can refer to it later on when you do come to revise your CV.
If you are targeting a new role, or hoping to develop conversations with a headhunter about an appointment, then it’s always worth giving your CV a freshen up. Your CV should be targeted to each and every role you’re going for. Often it can actually be unhelpful to include absolutely everything you’ve ever done. Cull, cull, cull if it’s not relevant to the target job. We have seen far too many CVs, even those of leading CEOs, where each successive job role has just been ‘bolted on’ to a previous CV. If you’re not revisiting earlier job roles and viewing the CV in its entirety now with the target role firmly in mind, then you could well be doing yourself a disservice.
Your CV is fundamentally a marketing document, which means you should be sculpting it each and every time to the specific role you want next. In this way you’ll be giving yourself your best shot at success.
If you’re unsure if your CV is fit for its current purpose, or just want some general advice and feedback then feel free to email it over to us for a free review.