No idea where to start with writing a CV? You are not alone. As a specialist agency we get approached 3-5 times per week from Veterans who have never had a need for a CV, but now need one to secure employment after recently leaving the military.
A job search can feel like an uphill battle when you don't yet have work experience in the private sector. How are you supposed to write a CV when you don't have anything to write about? Well, you shouldn't let that stop you. The candidate with the most experience isn't always the candidate who gets the job.
Whilst I’m no expert in CV writing, I wanted to create a short, straight to the point article that will answer some myths around the ‘perfect CV’ and hopefully add value to your job search. The aim is to help anyone resettling from the military, maybe individuals who are after a complete career change or for those simply wanting to add some glitter to an old rusty profile.
Think, what’s the purpose of a CV? In short, they are used to highlight your career history to perspective employers to try and secure an interview. It therefore needs to accurately reflect your relevant skill set (not a driving course you done up in Leconfield), your communication and attention to detail.
There are different kinds of CV formats each serving a very different purpose, the links below will take you to the two examples.
Click here to view a skills-based CV
Great if you are leaving the military with a career outside of technology, yet looking to get in to Cyber. You can create a skills style CV to highlight transferable skills and any courses you have done/are doing to demonstrate competency for your new field.
Click here to view a chronological CV
These are your most commonly used CVs, designed to emphasise an applicant’s employment history. This type of format would suit a professional who already has relevant employment history and looking to get into another position. For example an Intelligence Corps wanting to get into the CTI field.
Great, so we have covered the formatting and types of CVs, now let’s bust some CV myths that we at Blackthorn Trace come across on a daily basis:
- Cover letters are extremely time consuming and unfortunately are still a necessity when applying to most FTSE100 organisations. I would advise when a cover sheet isn’t required, to instead edit your profile/summary to each job application.
- LinkedIn has become a big a part of our social media vacuum. That being said, do not let all of your hard work you put into your CV become undone by having an outdated LinkedIn profile. It is the first thing that recruiters and hiring managers will check, upon receiving your CV.
- Layout – When it comes to pictures, unless you are a GQ model, I’d advise against adding a photo on to your CV. If you insist, then keep it professional. Ensure all colour/fonts used on your CV are simple. Stick to black and white and use one of the main fonts (Calibri, Times New Roman or Arial).
- It sounds very obvious but double check your spelling and grammar and if need be get someone else to proof read, don’t let a petty mistake hinder your interview chances.
To summarise, the reason why we have a CV is to secure an interview with a desired organisation of your choice. You need to avoid giving the reader any reason to put your profile in the reject pile. We are seeing stats being thrown around that there will be a huge skills gap of 1 million candidates by 2020 – unfortunately this doesn’t automatically entitle you to an interview.
Looking for your next cyber role? Check out our latest vacancies, or get in touch directly with one of our consultants regarding your CV and current opportunities we have.