Your CV is much more than a list of past roles.
It’s your value statement, a summary of your professional worth. (For better or worse.)
It’s also a key that can unlock opportunities you never thought possible — or keep them just out of reach.
As hiring processes grow more automated, it’s more important than ever to optimize the structure and content of your CV.
That requires more than a few snips here and a few changed words there. In fact, it requires going beyond the text of your CV to optimize other aspects of your public-facing professional persona too.
It’s all CVs, all the way down.
So let’s take a look at four ways to punch up your professional value statement and stand out from the crowd.
1. Tout Your Thought Leadership
Again, your CV isn’t just a laundry list of the titles you’ve held in your career. It’s a distillation of your value as a professional.
Your CV therefore won’t realize its full potential without acknowledging your thought leadership. You can start by briefly summarizing your media exposure and published work (if any), but for best results, your digital CV should link directly to relevant examples. For example, the Crunchbase listing for Michael Capiraso, a New York-based sports executive, includes a bustling “Recent News and Activity” section featuring Capiraso’s media interviews and original writing.
2. Have More Than One CV
It’s not as much work as it sounds. Your CV should be tailored to the position you’re applying for or the value you’re trying to communicate — conditions that are going to vary quite a bit over the course of your career. Make a point to update each CV at least once per year, or more if circumstances demand.
3. Include a Summary of Key Wins at Each Role
Just be mindful that it’s easier to come across as “braggy” in writing, when you’re not able to soften talk of your accomplishments with self-deprecating body language or verbal asides. And keep these summaries to a few sentences or bullets to avoid overwhelming the reader.
4. Include a Summary of “Takeaways” for Each Role
Each listed role should also include a summary of learnings or takeaways that you expect prospective employers or partners might find useful. You’ll include some of this content in your cover letter as well, but because your cover letter needs to address the specific audience it’s written for, you simply can’t include detail for every single role you’ve held there — unless you want the letter to run on way longer than the recommended one-page length.
It’s Your Time to Shine
A fully optimized CV. An online professional presence that sparkles.
These are must-haves if you’re serious about career advancement. But they’re not the only way to get noticed by the people who matter — nor to earn the opportunities you’ve long coveted.
Old-fashioned networking and outreach are important too. Thought leadership that goes beyond tweets and LinkedIn posts — this matters as well.
It’s time for an “all of the above” professional development strategy. It’s time to shine.