If you want an employer to take notice of your CV you need to consider how you can incorporate the core strengths they would usually expect to see. Having these strengths and being able to demonstrate them on your CV is the key to a successful applicant, and will give you the very best opportunity of landing that all important interview.
Not every strength you will read here below is going to be relevant to your chosen career, but in any case you should find that most of them will be valuable to any employer you come across.
Here are the top 6 strengths an employer wants to see on your CV, in no particular order:
1. Good communicator
When we talk about ‘communication skills’ we often believe that the focus is on verbal communication. However, written communication is also extremely important in any role. Whether you’re creating a report, writing a letter, or even just sending a simple email; how strong your written communication skills are will make a difference.
When it comes to the strength of your written communication what better way to demonstrate them than through your CV. A well written CV will clearly showcase how strong you are in this area, but there are also other examples you can provide if you feel this is important to the role.
A live chat service operator would only be communicating with customers via written communication, so clearly this type of role would require you to provide many different examples of how you are strong in this area. Every single word you type on your CV, as well as the email you initially sent to the hiring manager, will be under evaluation.
Your cover letter, if you decide to write one, is another way of demonstrating your written skills. A perfectly written cover letter will not only be another great forum to show off your written skills, but is also an effective way of personalising your application and could bump up your chances of an interview.
There are some roles that require exceptional strengths in written communication, like journalism or editing for example. With this type of role you would certainly need to go one step further on your CV and attach actual examples of this. Provide links to articles or even attach a physical copy.
Verbal communication skills are always important in any role, and although the job you’re applying for may not be customer facing, you will still be required to interact with other colleagues, your manager, and possibly attend meetings and contribute verbally at critical times.
A sales role will require excellent negotiation skills, so your CV should focus heavily on this. Are you a likeable person? Are you friendly? Are you able to sell ice to an Eskimo?
Consider how important these traits are and how your CV can demonstrate you have the right strengths and skills to meet your sales targets. Presenting actual sales stats and results from your previous roles is a great way to impress the employer.
Your analytical strengths will be important for any role you apply for, but what are analytical skills and why are they important?
Analytical skills refer to critical thinking, problem solving, and the ability to collect and analyse information. Most, if not all of these skills will be required to at least a basic level if not much higher for any type of role you apply for, so it’s vital that your CV demonstrates that you have them.
A manager will always value a team member that can think for themselves and solve the daily issues that arise. On your CV you should look to show examples of how you solved a large problem, helped a customer, generated revenue through an idea or process change, and so on. Always make your examples specific to the role and industry you are applying for. An employer wants to read your CV and see how you can instantly perform well in the role.
Qualifications, fantastic grades at school or university, and a long list of skills – will not always give a clear indication of how well an employee will perform. A smart way to get this across to an employer is to focus upon past scenarios. This could be anything from dealing with a particularly difficult customer complaint, to how you came up with a great way to save time by changing a system process.
It is not enough to simply state that you are a great problem solver or idea generator. To add credibility to your CV you should look back at your education and your work history to find examples that clearly demonstrate to an employer that you have the right analytical skills for the job.
A reliable employee is a valuable one. Someone who is always on time, has a great attendance, and can be relied upon to deliver a report by the deadline – these are all the traits an employer is looking for, no matter what the job.
A manager or co-worker will often need help with a project or task and will typically look towards someone they can depend upon. To demonstrate your strengths in this area you could provide many different types of examples on your CV from your previous roles.
Meeting deadlines, reports, supervisory roles, training other colleagues, extra responsibility, promotions, attendance, time management, and organisational skills – these are all great examples that should be included on your CV to demonstrate how reliable and dependable you are.
4. Team worker
Being a strong team player is an asset for any business, and interacting effectively and working towards a common goal makes for a successful employee and business. When the hiring manager reads your CV they need to be able to see that you have a proven track record of working with others effectively.
Provide examples of team projects and how successful they were because of your ability to work well with a team. Although a CV is all about yourself, it doesn’t mean to say you can’t show off the achievements of a team you worked with. The hiring manager is not just looking for someone with the right skills and experience; they are also looking for someone that is able to work with other team members or even departments.
5. Strong leader
If you are applying for a leadership role then being able to work well as part of a team would be vital. Everything we’ve covered so far is essential to being a successful leader. Your CV has to be exceptional too, covering everything we’ve discussed so far showing as many examples as possible.
- Conflict resolution
- Problem solving
- Project management
- Process improvements
- Idea generating
- Strategic planning
6. Computer literate
There are few jobs that don’t require the use of a computer in some capacity, and when looking at a detailed list of tasks on the job description you need to take care not to overlook anything computer related. Some roles only require a basic knowledge of Word, Excel and PowerPoint, but don’t forget to include these skills on your CV so the employer doesn’t assume you are a technophobe.
For an IT based role then your whole CV should of course focus around your IT skills, experience and qualifications. In addition, your CV really needs to highlight your IT achievements – include as many links to past projects as possible.
If you are worried that your IT skills need a little touch up, then you could consider going on a course to learn the basics. Even if the role you’re applying for typically requires little to no expected use of a computer, you don’t want to be left with egg on your face if your IT skills are suddenly needed. With the implementation of new technology, you could be left feeling a little lost if you are presented with a new system which involves the use of a computer. Try a free online course such as:
- Vision2Learn – covering word processing software, presentation software.
- Udemy – various free courses (the link is to Microsoft Word courses).
- Alison – various free courses (the link is to Microsoft Word courses).
If you’re happy that you know the basics and have used Word and Excel before in the past, then you are probably good to go. But if you require additional training or even need to start from scratch, then consider joining a course and get that all important training started as soon as possible.
Use a CV template
Remember, your CV has to be typed and created on a computer, so unless you have some outside help you could be struggling just to get an interview if your CV is not up to scratch. One of the best ways to ensure you CV gets off to the best of starts is to use a CV template.
If you’re unfamiliar with what a CV template is and what it can do for you, have a look around our hundreds of professionally crafted CV templates to see what’s on offer. With so many to choose from you are sure to find one that suits you and the job perfectly.