Career Management – Boosting Your CV With Powerful Statements

Following on from our previous career management blog, Corinne explains how using powerful statements can improve your CV.

You now have the basic structure of your CV, so the next (and arguably most difficult) step is to state what you have achieved in your most recent roles in a powerful way.

Remember to ask yourself ‘why is that important?’ after each statement you write, so that you make sure you impress on the reader the importance and the impact of what you achieved.

Let’s think about some of the things you may have written – maybe on your list you have

  • handled cash and reconciled the till (Think – why is that important? how much cash? Why did you have to do this? What was the purpose?)

So it might become …..

  • Handled cash and reconciled till receipts of up to £5,000 to adhere to appropriate financial controls
  • Opened and closed premises (why is that important? What does it show about you? What was the underlying reason behind what you did?) 

So it might become ….. 

  • Key holder of premises with responsibility for ensuring security levels were maintained 

In the same way

  • Waitress at an event 

Might become ….. 

  • Served up to 300 guests with food and drinks to maintain a high level of customer satisfaction 
  • served customers in a busy bakery, swept up 

might become …. 

  • Served customers efficiently with a wide variety of orders to maintain the shop’s excellent reputation
  • Worked as a member of a team to deliver quality service in a busy and pressurised environment
  • Cleaned and maintained the bakery to comply with stringent food safety and hygiene legislation 
  • Conducted stock takes 

Might become ….. 

  • Completed regular stock taking exercises to provide accurate data and support purchasing decisions

Are you beginning to get the idea? Now you have a go ……..

Remember you demonstrate competence everywhere!

Once you have written your powerful statements to show what you have achieved at work, you can think about how your achievements outside of work demonstrate your skills

  • Volunteer assistant in local charity shop 

Might become ….. 

  • Member of sales team in UK Mental Health charity shop selling clothes and household items
  • Listened to customers to understand their specific requirements and advised them appropriately
  • Feedback from customers highlighted excellent customer service skills and product knowledge 

Bringing it all together

You now have a CV that covers your personal details, education, employment and any additional information you think is relevant.

Keep reviewing the content and layout – remember to keep it to two pages. Show it to other people to ask for feedback and make changes until you are proud of the content. Once it is completed, you have a basic CV that can be amended to suit specific situations as they arise.

Now it’s time to think about ways to help you develop your skills and capability. In the next blog we’re going to look at some development options which you can take advantage of that are staring you in the face, you just need to be able to spot them.