Neville Rose, director of CV Writers, answers the second in a series of CV career dilemmas.
Question: “As an experienced account manager I have worked in a variety of PR agencies. I am keen to move client side but I am worried that my CV will look too ‘agency’. How can I tweak my CV to highlight what I could bring to a single employer?”
Working agency side you build up a wealth of expertise working with different clients, different sectors and of course many different client stakeholders. The challenge when it comes to your CV is to highlight the experiences that employers may be looking for within their internal teams. Often these will be your direct clients.
Sector experience is often a requirement client side and will clearly influence your decision as to whether to apply for a particular role. You need to position yourself as a sector expert in the professional profile of your CV to engage the reader with your relevance from the outset. Use as many related achievements throughout your CV as you can to stamp your authority in this regard.
Working on long term projects and strategies is also important client side. Firms may also want to see evidence of managing budgets effectively and ensuring return on investment. So definitely emphasise those clients you have worked with over a long period of time and include facts and figures to support the successes you’ve had. Also highlight other departments within client organisations you have worked with to show how you embed yourself and get to the heart of clients’ commercial issues.
Employers are always keen to know that their internal teams are completely up-to-date with the latest thinking and technologies. Highlight all your digital and social media expertise and the successes you’ve had with these campaigns. Tell the reader about innovative strategies you’ve created and influenced and the long term impact of these.
Writing a CV for a client side role shouldn’t involve drastic restructuring. What it does require is a refocusing of your experiences and achievements and aligning these to the particular expertise an employer is looking for. It may be worthwhile stepping back and making notes in advance of writing your CV. You can then re-write your CV in a logical way to best highlight your skills.