CVs and Resumes: Does Your Resume/CV Convey Your Personal Value?
Why is it important to ensure your personal value is conveyed on your resume/CV?
Your personal value, with respect to a prospective employer:
- is about what you have to offer to the organisation.
- is based on your ability to bring results in real terms.
- is important because an employer must be able to see from your CV how employing you will benefit them.
Your personal value is not necessarily embedded in your job title and qualifications
While it might be tempting to confuse personal value with titles and qualifications, these are not the same thing. If a title relates to a career progression which can be tracked by achievements and promotions, it is important to emphasize the achievements that led to the promotions, not the titles themselves. The value of qualifications is measured by how they have been put to use in the past or how a company sees your expertise in an area will be a valuable addition to their talent.
An example of personal value
Several years ago, I was working with a client who was a caretaker for a primary school. When we met for the first time, he barely spoke English and he needed his wife to interpret for him. When I asked him how he contributed value to his employer, his answer was simple but powerful. He said "I'm good at what I do. I am there when they need me and I do more than what is required." He went on to say how when there were special events at the school, he would always make himself available to help in preparation and clean-up. He established good working relationships with all of the staff members to ensure that they were happy with the services that he provided. Every year, the young man came back to me to update his CV with the new experience gained from promotions and the certificates he earned in night school. By the time he came back for his first update, he had learnt to speak English so fluently that he no longer needed an interpreter. The last time I met with him, he had finished night school and was starting his own business as a plumber.
The above is an example of how someone with few or no qualifications can add significant value to their employer in simple yet meaningful ways. It is also an illustration of how initiative and internal drive applied to the workplace can create personal value when that drive is focused towards recognizing and meeting the needs of the employer.
For the organisations and individuals left in the aftermath of the banking crisis, organisations are asking themselves, "Who is out there whom we can trust? Who can be counted on to act with integrity, accountability and to make decisions that will benefit (or at least not harm) our present and future viability in the economy?"
This question is not just applicable to the financial industry but it is relevant to every organisation that is operating and planning to keep their operations going profitably. At the end of the day, every organisation is, ultimately, a financial organisation, whether money, finance and investments are the primary focus of their business or not.
All organisations are driven by the ability to: sell their goods and services, keep their customers happy, make a profit and to achieve all of these objectives whilst operating efficiently.
The personal value you have to offer to a prospective employer is your ability to contribute to the achievement of any of these objectives and maintain their viability in real terms. This is usually based on what you have done in the past for previous employers.
With this in mind, the description of your job duties needs to go beyond itemising what you do or did to succinctly summarising how your activities achieved results for the company or your area/division/team.
In the current economy, the titles you may have held or where you might have sat in the organisational chart do not have the same impact that they might have had in the past. It is more important than ever to show what you can deliver. Ensuring that this is clear on your CV is vital to convincing your prospective employer(s) that you offer genuine value for their organisation.
For more advice on writing your resume/CV, please see the links below:
If you have a lot of information to manage on your CV, this hub will help you to strategically use the space on your CV to keep it concise and effective:
Sometimes you realise afterwards that the CV you sent may not have said what it needed to. Should you revise and resubmit? Here are some guidelines:
Managing your CV length is an important part of getting past the paper screening. Ensure that your CV is not too long and the emphasis is where it should be. Here are some ideas for managing this:
Should your Resume/CV be chronological or functional or both? This hub will help you decide:
You’ve sent out your resume/CV but are not getting the results you think you should be getting. Here is hub on how to diagnose where you may be going wrong.
© 2010 M Selvey, MSc
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