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How to write your CV: Step into the shoes of the reader

Published on: 5 Sep 2016

While it is not generally recommended to share your shoes with other people, it certainly pays to put yourself in the boots of the reader when it comes to planning and writing your CV. Understanding your target audience is an essential principle that marketers use in all their communications. Everything emanates from this.

Plan before you write

Ideally, you should spend just as much time planning and researching as writing your CV. A rushed, self-interested CV with no thought for the reader will quickly get it thrown into the ‘no’ pile. You need to ask yourself ‘what relevant experiences and accomplishments are employers looking for?’ Research company websites and jobs through CIBSE jobs and other employment resources will help you to answer to this question.

Why is the person specification so vital?

The person specification is the most significant source of information as this states what is needed of you for a specific role. It will let you know the skills and experience needed to be considered for the job. Your CV will be measured against this. So, if you feel a light switch moment when you read a particular person specification – then you know this is a job you’re qualified for.

Values and culture

Employers constantly highlight their values and culture, often labeled as their ‘employer brand’. You may have a vast amount of technical skills but if a person does not ‘fit’ with a new employer then the relationship may not last long. £millions are wasted every year on recruitment exercises where new employees do not bond. Make sure to read values and culture information on company websites and if this reflects your own then start preparing your CV.

Putting pen to paper

Once you start to put your plan into action, remember that your CV is not about you, it is about the reader. As an example, we’ll start with how to approach writing your professional profile. This is your introduction at the beginning of the CV. Whilst presenting your unique qualities and skills you should align these to the role. If you are applying for a particular job incorporate words that mirror the organisational values and culture.

It’s crucial to remember that it’s not about you - but what you can offer to your next employer. By aligning your CV to what employers are looking for you make that job of saying ‘yes’ much easier in being called to interview.  

This article is written by CV Writers, the official CV writing partner to CIBSE Jobs. In addition to a CV writing service they also publish Perfect CV, a professional CV writing toolkit that includes a professional CV template, video guides and a CV checking service.