As a recruiter I see so many CVs per day, you’d hope I’d know what a great one looks like by now. As a recruiter who focuses solely on freelance, contract and temp roles you should know I see so many variations of an Interim CV daily; I couldn’t tell you what the perfect CV looks like. I can, however, identify the kind of CV that’s going to get you an interview, and the ones that aren’t.
Ever heard of ‘keyword optimisation’? We’ve all seen the tricks, write it in white at the end of your CV so you show up in relevant searches. But I can tell you if I don’t see ‘delegate sales’, ‘speaker acquisition’ or ‘operations’ in big and bold on your CV, I might fly right by it.
There’s an argument I have with myself regarding the importance of your most recent role being front and centre, and the most relevant role taking stage. Don’t get me wrong, if the only relevant role you have was 10 years ago, this may not work. BUT for me, if you’ve been doing a contract for the past few months in a slightly less relevant sector, and prior to that you’ve worked on some super relevant projects I want to see this first. I know it’s almost a pre-requisite by now, but tailor your CV to the role and to your audience!
For me, it’s all about where you’ve worked (big companies, start-ups, agencies?), what kind of a contract it was (FTC, rolling, short-term temp?) and what exactly you did there. It’s a time-old cliché but first impressions matter, in person and on a CV. If you think a hiring managers first impression of you is from when you walk through the door, I’d say you’re probably wrong. That very first look into your professional life, via your CV, was their real initial peep into you as their new contractor.
Following on from this, and specifically if you’re in a Sales background, I want to see your professional accomplishments scattered throughout your CV. Did you win First to Hit Sales Target? What about being in the £100k club? Did you increase activity by 50%? This is what I want to know! It’s what our clients want to know, too.
Now for the nitty gritty, the part that seems almost irrelevant because it really shouldn’t matter, right? If your CV is in a PDF, a recruiter and a client will see it exactly as it’s sent. If not, who knows? Is your profession creative? Design? Marketing? PDF all the way. Want your recruiter to rave about how organised you are? Create 2 CV’s, one with your personal details on and one without. The one without will be sent over to clients and could save a lot of time if the role is an ‘I want to get your CV sent over in the next 2 seconds’ kind of position. If you wanted to be SUPER helpful, you could even include what kind of freelancer you are. How do you want to be paid? A limited company? Through an umbrella company? Let us know.
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