Make your CV memorable: paint pictures with words
You know that feeling when you get into a really good book? You just don’t want it to end. Glancing at the bedside clock, you know you should really switch the light off but… just one more page. One of the main reasons we get so absorbed is the ability of the writer to immerse yourself in their world. This is all down to the visual picture they create in your mind and the same thing is true for creating a memorable CV.
The power of visual references
Most of our memorable experiences are stored or translated in to visual memory. That is why words on their own mean virtually nothing. It is the visual association we place on those words that makes what we read engaging. The more clearly you can visually reference words the more of an imprint they will make. That’s why hypothetical statements are so difficult to visualise. There is no reference point.
Don’t use hypothetical statements
Too many CVs looks like copied and pasted job descriptions. The problem with this is that job descriptions are by their very nature hypothetical and often start with ‘the post holder will…’ A job description is a theoretical summary of responsibilities. They need to work for many different people who might all be doing the same job. This is not true for your CV. Your CV is a personal account of your career history. It should highlight your achievements and not be a list of generic responsibilities.
Read Also : Why the first page of your CV is the most important
The more specific examples you can cite in your CV the more memorable it will be. This may mean being selective on the number of examples used but your CV will be much more powerful through being grounded in real life experience. Facts and figures will also heighten interest. They can be used to highlight the scale and scope of something in addition to the results or outcome.
Example hypothetical statements v specific examples
Let’s take look a look at a couple of examples to demonstrate how easy it is to turn a dull hypothetical statement into something much more compelling.
A generic responsibility could read:
“Responsible for generating sales revenues and cross-selling services” could read:
“Consistent top 10% performer 2016 – 2017 in team of 50+ advisers achieving all sales targets and won individual award in for most cross sales”
“Organised a major international conference” could become:
“Generated £150k in corporate sponsorship selling over 150 delegate seats for major international conference in Cape Town”
Your CV needs to tell your story
The above examples show how, by grounding information in real life experience, you can make points much more visual and memorable. Using facts and figures also enables the reader to understand the true value in what you have achieved. So be explicit and descriptive. Whilst your CV might not read like a JK Rowling novel it will certainly be much more memorable through painting visual pictures.
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