As a communications professional you understand that different nuances, styles and intonations can dramatically change any piece of communication. In any given situation getting the tone right can really make the difference in helping to drive home the message. Get the tone wrong and the message could well be misunderstood.
Although perhaps lacking the subtlety of voice combined with body language, the tone of your CV can reveal a lot about you. And the great thing is that you have the chance to prepare and create the tone of your CV well in advance. You can generate interest, energy and engagement by carefully thinking through how you present yourself and the impression you wish to create in the mind of the reader.
So what is the correct tone of voice for a CV?
It is important to give the reader an idea of your personal qualities as well as presenting yourself professionally. You need to describe your achievements without sounding like it’s all about ‘me, me, me’. It is about achieving a balance and by taking in the concept of the four ps in CV writing you should be well on your way to pitching the perfect CV.
Your CV should be brimming with this. You don’t want anything negative in the CV or even anything that might raise a small question mark in the mind of the reader. So never include ‘reasons for leaving’. Until the recruitment world grows up it is still better not to mention anything about the ‘r’ word (redundancy). Save that for the interview. The point is don’t give anything away in the CV that gives the reader any opportunity to cast your CV into the ‘no’ pile.
It goes without saying that your CV should be professionally presented. No typos or errors. Consistent formatting. No company logos or other distractions. Just a well laid out career history with clear headings and a logical flow of information so that the reader can navigate their way through the CV easily and quickly. Working in the communications business you are no doubt well aware of how even the smallest typos can leap out of the page at you.
It is important to give the reader an idea of your personal qualities. Your personal brand if you like. Try to define the personal qualities that have driven your success. Employers are looking for the right cultural fit as well as technical skills. It is therefore important for a CV to give the essence of who you are and what strengths and qualities you possess. This is particularly important for the professional profile section at the beginning of the CV. Create a point of difference and say something bold that will engage the reader right from the outset.
Your CV needs to get its message across quickly and powerfully. You need to inject pace into it. Forget about writing a long and detailed CV over many pages. Keep it to a maximum of 2 pages and only include information that is relevant and will help the reader to make a positive decision about calling you to interview. This means focusing on your achievements and using bullet points to break up information into bit sized chunks.
In a competitive jobs market you need to do everything you can to get your CV to stand out. Follow the four Ps and it might just make the difference in getting that call to interview.