It's not all about listing your technical skills and achievements. Creating an impactful CV means focusing on tone, pace and structure. Neville Rose, director of CV Writers, tells us more.
As an environmental professional your CV should always highlight your technical and soft skills, relevant professional memberships and certifications. It is easy to get consumed with the practical details of the CV writing process such as the right structure, sections to use and deciding which qualifications are relevant. And of course these are important. However, tone is equally vital in allowing your CV to stand out against the competition.
Though we clearly cannot convey body language through the written word alone, the subtle inflections in our writing can form the equivalent difference between speaking with a smile or a frown, sounding sincere or otherwise. When an employer has finished reading your CV they will have formed a visual impression of you in their mind. This picture of you constitutes their first impression of what you're like, setting the stage for all future interactions. Therefore getting the tone right is an essential starting point to writing a CV.
What is the right tone for my CV?
On the one hand you want to stand out from the crowd yet not look too ‘different’. You want your achievements to get noticed but not look like you are over selling them. You want to present yourself professionally and at the same time as someone who is likeable and friendly. These are all important points for an environmental professional and the great news is that you can achieve all of these things by getting the tone right in your CV.
The four Ps to perfectly pitch your environmental CV
Be positive throughout. The right tone for a CV is always one that exudes optimism and confidence—these qualities both engage others and make you look passionate about what you do. It is important not to raise any question marks in the mind of the reader, don’t give the reader any opportunity to put your CV in the ‘no’ pile.
Pay attention to the quality of your writing. Never repeat sentences and make sure there is a clear message delivered with each point you make. Proofread vigorously, vary sentence structures and phrasing. Thesaurus dictionaries are very useful.
Be personable. People skills are important in any job be you a CEO, engineer or customer service assistant. Keep your tone friendly and approachable and give your potential employer a sense of your personal qualities and values. Employers are ultimately looking for the right cultural fit as well as the necessary technical skills.
Maintain a sense of pace. Each point you make in your CV should deliver a clear message; don't ramble or beat about the bush. The whole CV should be structured logically, organised in sequence, and move at a lively pace.
The tone of your CV should demonstrate the qualities of your ‘best self’ in a professional context. A positive and personable attitude, a strong attention to detail (zero errors in your CV) and a balance of passion and professionalism are key. Using the four Ps above to optimise the tone of your CV will stand you in very good stead to get noticed.