There Is One Thing That Matters In Your Job/Internship Application
When looking back through all the CV reviews we see at IndustryCV, we notice our industry professionals consistently making the same comment over and over again – “you clearly have a great skillset, but you haven’t sold it in regards to this specific industry”.
With the average CV only being looked at for 40 seconds, it is not enough to just be another strong candidate. In the hiring manager’s eyes you need to be the right candidate for both the industry and the role.
So – how do you go about ‘selling your skillset in your specific industry’?
The Golden Rule: Build A Convincing Narrative
The key to solving this issue is creating a ‘convincing narrative’ that runs through your CV, leaving the hiring manager with an easy task of seeing the logical next step to this story – offering you the job!
A ‘convincing narrative’ is all about connecting events and experiences. When done effectively in a CV and job application, this will allow the reader to better understand how the skills you have acquired make you the right candidate for the role you are applying to - all they need to do next is offer you the job!
1. Hint at the conclusion of your story from the beginning
Personal statements at the start of a CV have become very popular and we agree that they are a great idea as a short, sharp way to show off your strengths and also give insight into your personality and motivations.
Expand on this opportunity to also plant a seed in the reader’s mind as to where your story is heading so as to provide a frame of reference as they go through the rest of your CV.
● “Now looking for my next challenge to test my strong analytical skills within the fast paced financial services industry”
If the last line of your personal statement went along the lines of this, the reader will be in no doubt of your planned career direction.
By knowing your intended destination, this will provide a frame for all the following achievements and capabilities presented in your CV, making it far easier for the hiring manager to visualise how your strengths will be useful to them.
2 ) Explain steps which aren’t logical
Nobody’s career is a straight path, and a lot of us have had a non-‘logical’ gap at some point in our career. An example being a gap year, which risks being interpreted as showing a lack of direction or motivation.
Any sidetracks or dead ends should be addressed to help the hiring manager come to the conclusion that the next step is the right one for you at this time.
Long explanations are not needed – this is not a cover letter or interview. One sentence to provide context should put the reader’s mind at ease.
A potential example of addressing a career break is to emphasise how the extra time and space allowed you to reflect and clarify your own personal goals which leaves you convinced that this job is now the right one for you.
Job-hopping is also an issue that may concern a hiring manager who is looking for committed individuals. Addressing why your previous position was cut short can turn a potential negative into another reinforcement of the narrative you are creating around your application.
Examples that demonstrate ambition:
● You left due to better opportunities arising elsewhere
● You were unwilling to stay in a role which was insufficiently challenging
3) Don’t just list skills and experiences, but showcase capabilities which are transferable to the new role
The aim is to build the picture in the reader’s mind that you are the right candidate for the role. Leaving them to imagine how your skills relate to their industry is too much of a risk when applying for your dream job.
● Generic (poor): “Organising weekly reports for management on end markets”
● Specific (good): “Regularly analysed external markets, filtering out important findings to present to senior internal stakeholders to highlight opportunities and threats”
A relatively straightforward task has now been made into a demonstration of numerous capabilities. This makes it easy for the hiring manager to see how you can apply your skills to the new role.
Highlighting achievements in your journey is also a great opportunity to add credibility to your narrative.
An example for a marketing role:
● “Redesigning the page content resulted in a 25% increase in online sales”
Using a real example where you had a measurable impact on sales makes it very clear for the reader to see how your input could potentially positively impact them.
Set The Narrative – Get The Job!
Don’t risk the hiring manager for your dream job viewing you as, “a strong candidate, but not the right candidate for this role”.
Take every opportunity to set the narrative and frame your CV towards the job in question. Leave no doubt in the reader’s mind that the correct next step in this journey is them offering you your dream job!
Best of luck with your applications, IndustryCV
For specific and thorough feedback on your CV and Application from industry professionals please reach out to us at IndustryCV – give your application the edge!