UK National Career Advice

Top Tips to Sell Yourself in your CV

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How to Sell Yourself

This is a question which I am frequently asked and one which many people struggle with.  Yet, as with all CV writing, the answer is only common sense.

A CV is all about communication with somebody who has no prior knowledge of you.  You need to give the prospective employer a reason why they should choose you rather than any of the other applicants for the position on offer.

In an effort to achieve this many people fall into the trap of describing personal strengths which, whilst they may be true, are not likely to impress an employer unless you have validated these claims.  So rather than simply telling them how good you are you need to demonstrate the facts.

The best thing to do is to lead with a profile.  This should introduce you and set the context within which the rest of the CV should be read.  How would you introduce yourself to a stranger that you met at a party or in a lift? I doubt very much whether you would start by telling him that you were an impassioned team leader or that you had excellent problem solving and analytical skills, yet this is the type of thing that most people choose say when introducing themselves in a CV.

Before writing your profile you should look at the job and/or person specification and identify what the prospective employer is looking for.  This is important because you will almost certainly be required to fit in with the rest of their team.  If you don’t have the qualifications and or skills that they are seeking then there would be no point in applying for the job, so don’t waste your time as you are bound to be disappointed.

If, on the other hand you do have what they are seeking, then demonstrate that clearly by giving information about how you have developed your skills and what you have achieved by using them.  If you are careful to stick to the facts tthen you won’t appear arrogant.  This is only likely to happen if you make exaggerated claims  which cannot be validated.

Write your CV from the perspective of the employer, telling them what they need to know in order to judge the quality of you as a candidate.  If you stick to this approach then your CV will appear confident and professional and you will stand a much better chance of success.