Monday, 18 July 2011

IT Professionals, the Job Search and the Killer CV

It has been while since I wrote anything on my contracting blog but over the past month or so I have had several  questions from people who are thinking about their future and what they want from their career. This includes people thinking about both permanent and contract work.

Whether your looking for your next permanent job or your are considering contracting and hence going into business in your own right then one of the most important things you need, before you start, is a ‘killer CV’.

I’m not going to go into much detail on how to construct, write and layout your CV there are lots of other sites that have already covered this and there are some useful links at the bottom of the post that maybe useful.

I like to think of my CV as a sales brochure, especially if you are contractor in business for yourself then that is exactly what your CV is, it’s a document that is used to you in selling your services. For those of you who are sales people or if you are just like me  and have read a few sales books (The Sales Bible: The Ultimate Sales Resource) then you know that the key to making a sale is solving someone’s problem. If you think of a job description or contractor requirements documents  as someone going to the trouble of documenting their problem they need solving, then your CV must highlight how you can actually solve the problem documented. If your CV clearly states how and why  with evidence to back up your claims of how you can help solve the clients problems then you are more likely going get ‘follow up leads’ a phone call or face to face meeting to further discuss the clients problem and how you can help solve it. Some people call this an interview. For example if the client hiring a contractor or consultant and  needs a specialist in SQL Server replication, you know this because it will say ‘experience with transaction replication’ in the requirements document  and your CV right up front on the first page where nobody as to look very hard to find it, preferably in your expertise section, state ‘Experience in Transactional Replication’ and then further in your document you provide evidence of this experience then you will very likely go further in the recruitment process. It is the first page of the CV that is the ‘killer’ if you show on that page how you meet the requirements,  then you are likely to go further and have more success in the ‘Sales’ process.

Check out: http://www.contractorcalculator.co.uk/Contractor_CV_Writing.aspx if you would like some further information and writing and preparing you CV. It is a contractor site but some of the information can be useful for permanent job searches too .

If you want a book on the subject then I have bought this one, which I found quite good but only has 3* review on Amazon.

The best reviewed CV book that I could find on Amazon is this:

It’s up to you but I would start with the free articles on the website and build from there.

In future posts I intend to look at some common mistakes that I have seen in CV’s and I’ll discuss further the importance of tailoring your CV.

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