On a Skills Based CV it is essential that your achievements demonstrate to the recruiter the strength of your skills in each key skills area. If you do this successfully you will get the invitation for an interview.
What is a Skills Based CV?
In a traditional CV you list each job in reverse chronological order. You start with your most recent job and then work backwards through your career. Under each job you list your key achievements.
On a Skills Based CV you are looking to emphasise the skills that you have rather than the specific jobs you have done or companies in which you have worked. The normal reasons for this are that you want to move job function e.g. from HR to Operations or you want to move industry sector e.g. manufacturing to retail. In this type of CV you list your key skills areas such as; leadership, planning and organising and project management. Under each key skill you list your relevant achievements. This is an Example Skills Based CV. Your career history is covered briefly after the key skills areas.
Projecting Your Strengths
On a Skills Based CV you would choose the key skills areas and the achievements based on the requirements of the job for which you are applying. The aim is to demonstrate how well your skills match the job requirements.
When you write your achievements you should use the 3W structure; what did you do, to or with what, with what result. This is the secret to creating a powerful Skills Based CV.
Example Skills Based CV Achievement
Let’s assume that you are using Planning and Organising as a key skills area. We will take as an example achievement that you arranged a company conference. A badly written version of this would be;
‘In the past I have been involved in organising a company conference’
This says nothing much about the strength of your skill – it’s more like an item on a shopping list! By following the 3W structure the achievement sounds much stronger;
What did you do; Led the project team which planned and delivered
To or with what; the 2012 company conference for 630 delegates
With what result; achieving a delegate satisfaction score of 98%.
On your CV this achievement would be written;
- Led the project team which planned and delivered the 2012 company conference for 630 delegates, achieving a delegate satisfaction score of 98%.
Can you see that this version says so much more about your Planning and Organisation skills than the earlier version? It starts with a positive action verb ‘Led’. It covers the fact that you led a project team and delivered a conference for 630 delegates. This says a lot about the scale of the planning required. Finally you have given evidence that your planning was a success.
Converting Your Own Achievements
To start with list out the key skills areas you want to use. Then under each pick out 5 good achievements that demonstrate the strength of your skill. When you have your examples spend time converting each of them into the 3W structure.
If you follow this approach you will produce an eye catching Skills Based CV that will mean you get asked for interviews.
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