Writing an SAP Consultant CV
Your CV is the first chance you get to make an impression on a potential employer and so it is worth spending a bit of time over it. Too often a CV is rushed, untidy, or worse – contains bad grammar, punctuation, and spelling. I review a lot of CVs in my job for consultants for the IT system SAP (pronounced S.A.P.) and so I thought I’d share what I think, as a hiring manager, what makes a good SAP consultant CV. The tips I provide are probably useful for all sorts of CVs but I’ve tried to called out some common mistakes and provide tips specific to a SAP consultant CV.
Where to Start
Start the CV with the basic details about yourself. Your name, address, email address, landline and mobile telephone number are all important details. Make your name stand out to help the reviewer associate your CV with your name, and of course ensure the contact details you provide are accurate so they can easily contact you to arrange an interview. Rather than listing all of these items one after the other line by line, I would recommend trying to fit these details into the header on the first page. I see so many CVs where I’ve read half a page and all I know is their name and contact details. Use space wisely as if your CV is too long, it won’t all get read. See my example below of my preferred formatting. You’ll notice I’ve also included a marital status line, this is not strictly necessary but I often include it depending on if its relevant for the job. If you’re going for an SAP Consultant job, your role is likely to involve travelling, and the hiring manager may prefer someone who is single and has no ties as they tend to be more flexible. Personally I try not to take this into consideration when reviewing a CV but I know some people do, so if you feel it would be an advantage to include this information, do it. If not, take it out.
Before you jump into the facts and figures about your qualifications and certifications introduce yourself. If you met somebody at a networking event, you wouldn’t say “Hi, I’m John Smith, I have a first class degree, and I’m certified in SAP Finance”, so why would you do that on your CV? Remember this is your first chance to sell yourself, so create a good impression! I prefer the CV to introduce me to the candidate by means of some form of personal statement or overview of their professional profile. Write a few paragraphs about yourself, what your job title is, where you work, where you’ve worked in the past. For example,
“I am an SAP certified consultant in the Sales & Distribution module, currently working for Company. My responsibilities in this role are….”
Highlight any key points you want to get across such as big achievements, or big responsibilities. Make sure these points are relevant to the job you are applying for.
Facts and Figures
Next, have a section on qualifications. List your certifications and qualifications starting with the most recent and relevant. Be selective on what level you go to here, if you hold a degree, you’re A-level and GCSE results are probably irrelevant so don’t go to that level of granularity. Also include any relevant training you have attended that might enhance your ability to do the role.
Your hiring manager will want to know if you’ve held similar roles in the past, that you have the right experience to do the job, and that you were successful in previous roles. List out the previous roles you’ve had and the dates you held them. I like to have the following format for each role:
March 2009 Job Title: SAP Consultant
– Present Client/Employer: A Company
Brief Description of Role
* Responsibility 1
* Responsibility 2
* Achievement 1
* Achievement 2
Using this standard format allows you to highlight each of your key activities you had during the period, and also promote the successes you had. It also allows it to be a succinct list without too much waffle. Be sure to cover all roles that you’ve held since beginning your career as CV reviewers like to look for gaps in employment, be sure you can explain any gaps if you do have some.
SAP Consultant CV Tip!! Do not use this as an opportunity to list every SAP transaction or function you have ever performed. I’ve received hundreds of CVs where the candidate has listed absolutely every configuration point they’re ever touched and it turns the CV into a 10 page or more document. If you’re going for an SAP consultant job, it is assumed that you have the necessary technical skills, and this would likely be tested in an interview, the CV is not the place to dump a list of SAP transactions. Whenever I read a CV like this I tend to bin the pages of transactions, and probably therefore miss key bits of information included between them. More often than not, the entire CV ends up in the shredder, as this sort of information overload demonstrates a lack of knowledge on what is an appropriate and acceptable level of information to provide. Often in a SAP consultant role, being a good communicator both written and orally is key.
The penultimate section which I always include on my CV is a Skills section. You have already mentioned the roles and responsibilities that you’ve had, but now is the opportunity to state what skills you believe you have developed during those roles over your career. I split this out into two skill types, technical and behavioural. Obviously if you’re not going for a technical role you may not want to include this, but even a non technical role will probably still require knowledge of word processing or spreadsheets for example, so you may still wish to include it.
SAP Consultant CV Tip!! A common mistake I find is that candidates focus too much on their technical ability. People with SAP technical skills are fairly common, and so you need to distinguish yourself from the rest. If you’re going for an SAP job in a high cost location such as the US or UK, it is unlikely that you will need only good technical skills as these can be found in cheaper offshore locations at a fraction of the cost. High cost located consultants are much more customer facing, and often have to interact more closely with the business users, or the customer/client. For this reason, its imperative that you highlight your ability to build relationships, communicate well, work as a team, and so on. Companies are looking for highly motivated, enthusiastic people, who can use their initiative and work efficiently. If you have examples of that make sure you highlight these.
End your CV on a personal note to show you have interests outside of work and that you are a well rounded sociable person. Add information on your interests and hobbies. Playing rugby or football demonstrates an ability to work as a team. Learning a musical instrument yourself demonstrates an ability to work independently. Try not to any hobbies that could be perceived as negative e.g. spending Saturdays in the betting shop!
Things to remember when writing a CV:
- Keep it to a reasonable length – between 3 and 5 pages is typical for an SAP consultant CV, any more than this doesn’t get read, it gets skimmed or worse, binned
- Keep the language formal, use “do not” instead of “don’t”, etc
- Ensure any abbreviations are written fully when first used e.g. “I worked in the Accounts Payable (AP) team”, after this you can simply use “AP”
- Keep the text size between 10 and 12pts and in a plain easy to read type face
- Emphasize what you can do for/bring to the employer, not what they can do for you
- Do not simply list everything you’ve ever done
- Tailor your CV to individual positions you are applying for, don’t just assume one size fits all
- Get to the point, don’t waffle trying to “fill” space
- Don’t put any negative things about yourself in your CV, this is a chance to sell yourself, not a personal appraisal!
- Do not make things up! You will get found out when you’re interviewed, or when a reference is requested, and you’ll definitely not get the job. Remember, a significant amount of interview questions will be based on your CV
- Make sure it looks tidy, no fancy colouring or random font sizes
- Check your punctuation, spelling and grammar
- Finally, check the above again. Ideally have someone else proofread as spelling mistakes demonstrate a lack of attention to detail
Searching on the internet, or clicking some of the links on this page will help you find a raft of further information about creating CVs, some of it conflicting. You have to decide what works best for your industry and needs. Also, there are a significant number of books on the subject if you want further in depth information on the content of CVs, I’ve included a number of these on to the right of this paragraph. My personal recommendation is the "CVs for Dummies" book which offers both excellent in depth tips and advice, and wont break the bank.
I've also extended this guide into an eBook on amazon.com funnily enough, called "Writing an SAP consultant CV" which has a bit more detail than on here, plus touches on topics such as covering letters and application forms. It's at the following link:
There are also hundreds of websites out their offering to review your CV for a fee of between £30-£100. There is a niche SAP/Oracle and other technologies CV review site at www.cv-reviews.co.uk which is has been around a few years too. All these sites will charge a fee, but it could prove a useful investment.
I think that’s about it! I can’t guarantee it will work, but based on my experience a best example SAP Consultant CV would follow the guidelines above. They’re clear to read, and show practical demonstrations of your experience. Thank you for reading, any questions, please add a comment below. Good luck!
PS. If you get an interview, why not check out my Interview Techniques and Tips hub too! http://hubpages.com/hub/Interview-Techniques-and-Tips
© Geordieg00 2010