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How to write effective role descriptions for your CV

Jun 26, 2018 Guest Contributor

How to write effective role descriptions for your CV

Role descriptions within your CV offer recruiters a valuable insight into your experience and abilities. Describing your current and previous work experience provides you with an excellent opportunity to showcase your skills and show potential employers how you apply them in the workplace. Here are some foolproof ways to write an effective role description and land that job!

Structure your role descriptions properly

Your CV needs to flow in order to facilitate ease of reading. Large blocks of text make it difficult for readers to digest the information in your CV. Start with a bold heading to announce the beginning of the role and detail the employer name, your role title, and dates of employment. Under the heading, provide a brief one or two line outline to explain the nature of your employers’ business, where you sit within the organization, and the overall goal of the role – this builds context for the reader. Then list your responsibilities in short sharp bullet points so that recruiters can navigate them quickly and pick out the information they need. To really add some weight to your roles, round them off with some impressive achievements you made during your time with the company.

Show how you've impacted an organization

It’s not enough to merely document your responsibilities however, you need to prove the impact you have made in each organization. Highlight how you’ve worked to support company goals or targets and how your actions impacted the wider team. For example, you may have been responsible for managing the company budget – but simply stating that responsibility does not demonstrate the impact you made. To prove your impact you will need to expand to discuss how your actions have affected the business which could be things like saving costs, identifying areas for improvement or even helping to generate more revenue.

Use the right level of detail

When putting together role descriptions you'll want to be detailed enough to describe your experiences and achievements but not so exhaustive that your CV becomes tedious to read. This can be a difficult balancing act, so look to add depth to your most recent positions, and as you work backward through your career history look to only briefly summarize dated roles. Employers will want to know lots about your current roles because they are generally the best way to gauge your current capabilities – whereas role from several years will not be of great interest to them.

Sell yourself

It seems obvious, right? Your CV is your first impression to a company so it needs to be strong to grab recruiters’ attention and compel them to contact you. Being too modest and writing in a dull formal tone won’t excite anybody. Although you want to portray a professional image, ensure your descriptions are written in an upbeat positive tone with plenty of positive verbs and adjectives to emphasize your effectiveness as an employee. For example, don’t just describe yourself as  “marketing executive with 5 years of experience in the healthcare industry.” Improve the language and really sell yourself by describing yourself as an “accomplished global marketing executive with 5 years of experience supporting some of the world’s biggest brands and campaigns.”

Quantify your achievements

As part of your role descriptions you need to document your prior achievements but if you really want recruiters to understand your impact,  you need to quantify those accomplishments. By adding specific examples and including any relevant facts or figures you’ll be giving more credibility to your claims. For example, instead of simply adding the fact you have supported the implementation of a new booking system, state how this new process improved performance by 20%. This will help the recruiter to qualify your achievements and progress you further in the recruitment process. About the Author: Andrew Fennell is an experienced recruiter and founder of CV advice center StandOut CV and a regular contributor to sites such as CV Library, The Guardian, and Business Insider.

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