Understanding what makes an excellent CV for personal and executive assistants, is going to help you get the jobs you want and deserve.
If you have your CV ready, print it out and have it to hand whilst you go through this blog to make any notes or changes. Also if you use LinkedIn, and you 100% should get your profile page up. You need to make sure your CV and LinkedIn match up.
There will be more tips for LinkedIn throughout this post, so let’s get going.
Your CV is your PR document. Employers spend about 6 – 10 seconds before they decide to continue reading your CV. That’s how little time you have to make an impression. I want you to stop thinking of it as this dry document and instead see it as your personal sales tool.
Step 1: Write your CV for the job you want.
Look at the job descriptions and duties, where you’ve done them put them on the CV. Imagine you’re the employer looking to cross things off a list – make sure you tick the boxes.
Step 2: Formatting your CV
- Your CV should never be more than three pages. Two is the ideal number.
- Remember to add your contact details. Name, city, phone and email.
- Add a link to your LinkedIn profile.
- I don’t believe in pictures or video CVs. Not everyone will agree with me on this but I think they influence unconscious bias.
Step 3: What’s included in your PA/EA CV
Your statement is your elevator pitch. it should be clear and say this is someone you want to hire. It should be about four sentences long and say: who are you, what can you do and what are you looking for?
*LinkedIn tip: make sure your statement and your LinkedIn bio are the same.
3- 5 bullet points no more. What are the kick-ass, outstanding skills you have to bring to the employer? Again relate these to the roles you’re going after. What are the skills they want that you have? Ask old bosses or old employees what they think. Something might come up you haven’t thought of.
*LinkedIn tip: Don’t use LinkedIn for personal information like you would Facebook. It is an extension of your CV and employers view it as such.
Maximum of three bullet points looking at achievement career-wise and professionally. This gives you credibility.
If you’re struggling for ideas, what about one of the following. Have you…
- saved money for a past organisation
- implemented new systems
- managed office moves
- supported the boss through promotions
- been headhunted for your past three roles
When you add your key achievements to your personal statement you provide authenticity and incredibility. These also provide a great talking point in your interview.
Ideally, go for the last three roles that are the most relevant. Use bullet points when you describe the job role. Your most significant or recent roles should have the most bullet points. The eye will be drawn to the one with the most, so make sure this is the one that shows your capability to deliver against the job description
*LinkedIn tip: You can use LinkedIn to get yourself in front of employers you’re keen to work for. Respond and comment on employers posts and when you do this you start showing up on their feed.
This one is fairly self-explanatory. But again focus on the most recent and relevant. You don’t need to mention your recorder lessons age seven, save that for the next Christmas party.
*LinkedIn tip: When you want to ask for work on LinkedIn, share a key skill and achievement so it’s a PR pitch.
Hobbies and interests
This is important because it says a lot about you and what you’re passionate about. It shows whether you are committed to learning, giving back or self-improvement. Share what’s interesting but not too wacky. Again look at the job descriptions and see what’s relevant.
*LinkedIn tip: You can also use LinkedIn to show who you are by sharing relevant information, and commenting on posts but please don’t share your Friday cocktails and social life. Check out my profile to see what I share and how I balance my professional personality.
Contact people, you’ve worked with and ask for references. Don’t just provide a contact number for the employer to call, get these written now and saved.
References make you authentic. Employers are aware that most CVs contain something that isn’t true. By having references and key achievements you give proof and stand out from the pack.
*LinkedIn tip: why not ask for references through LinkedIn recommendations? That way they are saved in your profile and you can copy and paste them onto your CV.
Step 4: Proofreading your CV
WIFM – what’s in it for me
When you look over your CV after finishing it, I want you to think, if you were an employer where is the WIFM. What is the gift that you are bringing? How clear is it? Look at your key skills, these should support your WIFM.
Check for typos
Did you know 97% of all CVs we received at C&C last year had mistakes? If you are a PA/EA part of your job is having a great attention to detail. You can’t afford to let mistakes go through. Look over it with a fine-tooth comb and get someone else to proofread it. A great tool to also use is Grammarly, which should help find any glaring issues.
If you’re thinking about changing careers take a look at our blog: how to change your PA/EA career path. If you want more content like this, why not join our Coaching Club for £9.99 per month? As part of the coaching community, you’ll have access to special webinars, events, tools and more to help build the career of your dreams.