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Interim advice: make your CV work for you
With interim and contract roles, your CV really has to shine. There will normally be strong competition for positions and the client typically has a pressing need to get a suitable professional into the role quickly.
Your CV really has to impress a potential employer at first glance. The first half of the document has to make an immediate impact, while at the same time creating the right impression. Clients will mainly look at specific experience and skills, such as knowledge of certain systems and language skills. Soft skills are of secondary importance.
Your CV may be sent through a number of different channels; either direct to the client, to a specialist interim agency or a recruitment company. Whatever the destination of your CV, a few basic principles remain the same.
- Tailor your CV for the job and company in question
- Put your most recent, relevant experience near the top
- Include up-to-date contact details
- Include a brief statement about yourself beneath your contact details outlining what you do and what you offer
- Keep it short, concise and well-structured
- Use bullet points where possible rather than paragraphs
- Make sure you describe your experience in detail and use the appropriate industry terminology
- Use actual statistics where possible (and applicable) to back up your achievements and make your successes more tangible.
With large volumes of CVs to trawl through, the reader will want the key information to instantly jump out at them at first glance. Ensure that important details (such as your seniority, experience and functional knowledge) are immediately evident.
If you are applying for a job with a fixed contract it´s usually enough just to meet the requirements. However, as an interim manager you should be overqualified for the job. In order to convince a client, interims must have extensive experience in their field of expertise, preferably within a similar organisation or a direct competitor.
Some recruiters may search via keywords. That has a practical reason: they have to deliver a shortlist of suitable candidates within a few hours. Suppose a client is looking for an interim accountant who speaks German and has extensive experience with IFRS, annual accounts, SAP and Cognos; in that case, a recruiter will search for those specific keywords in system. It is therefore important to use the right keywords in your CV. If you don´t you might miss out on a contract.
On the lookout for your next interim assignment? Why not browse Michael Page jobs now