Ch. 4: How to SHORTlist your best points

In this chapter you will:

  • learn to SHORTlist examples: prove skills in a distinctive, personal way
  • use SHORTlisting to write your Profile, Employment History and more

What makes a good example?

When you go back and read them, some of your examples describing how you have shown key skills might seem a bit weak. It could be that you aren’t very practised at this skill – but more often, it’s because the example you’ve given is not specific enough.

For every example that you’ve noted, you need to check whether it is specific enough to add power to your CV. This next process, called SHORTlisting, will help you transform woolly examples into concise proof of your skills.

SHORTlisted examples make it clear why you should be asked for interview. They are your starting point for everything that follows in your job search: they form the basis of your CVs, application forms and covering letters, and help you right up to interview stage.

How do I SHORTlist my examples?

Every example needs to be as SHORT as it can be:

  1. Specific: what exactly did you do, why and how?
  2. Honest: did you do it? Alone or as part of a team (what part did you play)?
  3. Outcome: was there a measurable result or benefit for your employer?
  4. Realistic: does what you are claiming sound achievable – or like a fantasy?
  5. Transferable: will this skill be useful to any future employer?

Let’s take each aspect in turn.

Specific

Use details or numbers to explain exactly what you are talking about.
Example
A sales administrator responsible for compiling reports for the sales director every month wants to show he has good communication skills as his next step is moving into sales.

EXAMPLE

Good

  1. Reporting on sales expenses.

He states clearly what he is reporting on. But what kind of report is it, how often does he do it, does it need input from other people?

Better

  1. Comparing year-on-year sales expenses, reporting to the sales director every month end.

He is now stating exactly what his reporting involves. It’s still not clear how big a task this is and whether he does it alone.

Best

  1. Solely responsible for working with the 30-strong sales team to understand year-on-year sales expense trends, reporting to the sales director every month end.

This covers all the bases about size and scope, what he does and with whom he does it...

The extract above has been taken from 'Get That Job With the Right CV'
Copyright © 2010 Julie Gray

Get That Job With the Right CV

From Julie Gray, Senior Consultant at The CV Centre, Get that Job with the Right CV will help to teach you how to write the best possible CV to land that perfect job.

It covers everything from layout and format, through to perfecting a jargon-free writing style, avoiding common pitfalls and tailoring your CV to different jobs.  Julie’s in-depth professional advice and friendly style will guide you through every step of the CV writing process with humour and practicality and give you real confidence to effectively showcase your skills to employers.

As a professional CV writer at The CV Centre, Julie sees every single day which CVs really achieve results.  This puts her in an excellent position to help you to create a truly exceptional CV of your own.

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