Writing your CV is akin to writing a sales pitch – except, you are selling yourself to your (hopefully) potential employers.
However, it is insufficient to only understand the technical aspect of crafting a CV. Soft skills are also highly valued here – that is, how you develop your own personal strategy that can be applied across different company applications. One way to develop these skills is by undergoing internships.
It is thus very important to understand your target audience and the context that this ‘sales pitch’ is being carried out.
Impressing recruiters and battling with time
Ladders revealed that recruiters take about six seconds to decide on the outcome of your CV. And even so, it is not guaranteed that the full attention of recruiters can be garnered.
This stands for one simple reason – recruiters are perpetually short on time.
Filling up an internship placement is only the tip of an iceberg for the amount of responsibilities awaiting them. This means that they do not have much time and energy to plough through your life story.
- Keep it short and concise.
- Use a consistent formatting and language style (i.e. Stick to the use of past/present tense, and first/third person point of view).
- Prioritise the relevant strengths according to the job scope that you are applying for.
Be specific about your skills
Your skills set is the main filter for the first layer of cut off. Character and fit come next during the interview.
However, it is important to understand how your skills can become your comparative advantage. It is crucial to not only know your strengths, but also how they can complement the company much more than your competitors.
Thus, it is useful to be specific about your qualifications. In the case that your career is related to your major, establish strong links between your subject classes and what the company is looking for.
- Highlight the details of studies and projects that are related to the career. For example, Professor’s name, technical skills acquired, external accreditation, external academic and corporate collaborations, and external mentorship programmes.
- Highlight and explain your achievements (That are related to the company. For eg, A CFA Stock Pitch Competition will be a CV boost if you are applying for an Investment Banker position.
Work on your comparative advantage
The backbone of any company’s goals is to:
- Increase profits.
- Reduce costs.
- Reduce time inefficiencies.
It is certainly admirable if you can achieve the former two, but the latter is usually the case. As such, it will be helpful if you highlight previous encounters on how you have helped with the company’s operations.
- Include specific details on how your efforts have helped with the company’s operations. (For eg. Reduce time from one week to three days).
- Be available for an extended period of time. Employers are short on time so it will definitely be a plus point if you can reduce the time taken to teach a new candidate by staying with them for a longer period of time.
A personalised communication
While compiling your own story, do not miss out on the company’s language. Internalise their values and speak their language.
Looking to start a career in investment management? Find out if you have what it takes from our interview with a former investment analyst here! Good luck!