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CV Skills


A couple of years ago, a friend of mine asked me to him out with his application for a forklift driver post at well-known food processing plant

 
My friend was a driver for a retail delivery company, he had all the certification and a good looking, well laid out CV but he wanted me to give it a once over.
 
When I looked at the CV he appeared to be experienced and senior and helped out as a team leader in the group. I knew from talking to him previously that he did much more than just driving the van, he had become the “go-to” person for the delivery manager and I knew that personality wise that he was a really positive and driven person.
 
What he was not saying on his CV was that he was responsible for managing and logging tachygraphs, he was the first aider, he did inductions and mentored guys in the team.
More importantly, he had not added his many driving and licenses, and had missed out a lot of relevant and meaty content from his CV.
All of which are key assets in a role like this.
 
So, I sat down with my friend and fleshed out his role to draw out the key components of this job, the stuff that really mattered because it made a difference to the smooth running of the team. It meant that the new starters settled in and became effective quickly, it also meant that the manager could focus on what was important to department as he trusted my friend to get on with it.
It showed that he had professional maturity (I once heard it called “grey haired experience”) to handle situations pragmatically and sensibly.
 
The point is, if you are preparing your CV to send out to employers, agencies and / or job boards then make sure you include the important stuff. Don’t take it for granted that the CV reader will know that because you have 1 skill then you will automatically have the associated skills and knowledge. If you have the certification, the qualification or the experience and it is relevant then you must add it. If you are in an analytical role, do not take it for granted that the reader will know that your role is analytical, you have to make it obvious. If you are compliant or work to a defined methodology or best practice then it is important. They may not work to the same methodology but guess what, articulate that you have the ability to follow a methodology may be the difference between getting the job or being passed over for someone not as good as you.
Finally, my friend’s CV was really well laid out, it was consistent (a bit too brief in my opinion) with not too much white space and it talked about him and what he wanted to do. It was received very well.
 
He had taken the initiative to get someone to work on it with him, he was open to criticism and once it was made obvious to him it gave him much more confidence in his abilities.
 
How did he get on? We updated his CV and he did not get the forklift drivers job, he got the forklift manager’s job.
 
He’s now a manufacturing process specialist because he showed he was adaptable and he had good documentation skills!
 
 

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