When applying for a consultancy role, tailoring your CV to suit the work you’ll be doing and the company you’ll be working for should be a big part of the application process.
So what should you do to tailor your CV successfully? Leading UK consultancy network The Consultant Hub explains and shows that taking the time to update, amend and polish your CV to suit a business’s needs can be what makes you instantly stand out from your competitors.
Do your research
Tailoring your CV should start with doing your research on the company you’re applying to work for. When applying for a job, many people often only think about doing company research to prepare for interviews. However, as a consultant, it’s better to do your research when updating your CV, so you can amend it to suit a business’s specific needs and objectives.
You should research the company’s background, size, headcount, location and annual turnover. You should take time to learn about its customer base and the different products or services it provides. You should also try and read up on its history, how it has developed, its mission statement, past achievements and business goals. It’s worth also researching your connections on your social networks, like LinkedIn, to see if you’re connected to anyone who works there. This can help you get an understanding of the types of people the business employs.
Show you’re a solution to a problem
When applying for a consultancy role, it’s a good idea to look at yourself as a solution to a business’s problem. You should then aim to reflect this in your CV by listing the skills, experience and achievements that are best suited to the role, based on what you’ve learnt in your research.
You should then revamp these achievements to specifically match what the employer will be looking for in a consultant to help their company. Don’t expect an employer to connect the dots in how your achievements can benefit their business. Give examples to illustrate them and back up your claims. It’s also wise to reorder your achievements, so the most relevant is at the top of the list, ensuring impressive details don’t get missed.
Highlight your key consultancy skills
In addition to listing skills specific to the consultancy role you’re applying for, you should highlight those that are essential when doing consultancy work for any business. This includes skills like leadership, management, project development and strategic thinking.
If you’re applying to work in a different sector than you have previously, you should also show how these skills are transferrable. It’s wise to demonstrate how these skills helped you achieve success in different businesses. This can show how you have been a successful person in business, who is now offering their skills as a consultant.
Grab their attention from the start
Your CV should open with your personal statement. This is your chance to sell yourself to a specific employer and make sure you stand out from other applicants, so it should be concise, compelling, expressive, impressive, and engaging. This is probably the most important part of your updated CV, as some employers won’t even read past it if it doesn’t grab them within a matter of seconds. So you should aim to hold their attention and make them want to read on.
Your personal statement should summarise in about 150 words, or four or five lines, the key points that define you as a consultant, and demonstrate your career, key skills and achievements. You should aim to leave the reader wanting more, rather than thinking they’ve read all this before.
Use the right tone, polish and proofread
When updating your CV, it’s important to make sure you get the tone right. This means using language a consultant would be expected to use to show you have a good head of business, while avoiding clichés and common phrases. Anyone can say they’re passionate, enthusiastic and a problem solver, for instance. Phrases like this are only likely to irritate the employer reading your CV, not inspire them to think that you’re the consultant to help their business develop.
Finally, it’s important to proofread your CV to make sure it’s polished, reads well and contains no glaring spelling, grammar or punctuation mistakes. As well as making you look lazy and your CV look rushed together, errors like this probably won’t reflect well on your skills. Saying things like you’re observant and have strong attention to detail, for instance, will be difficult for an employer to believe if your CV contains typos.
It’s a good idea to get someone to act as a fresh pair of eyes to check through your CV too. If they think something is wordy, longwinded or confusing, chances are the reader will think so too. By doing all this you can ensure your CV looks its best and is tailored perfectly to any consultancy role you apply for. When it comes to employers deciding who is the best person for the job, at this stage, your CV should be top of the pile.