THOUGHT PIECE the carling team
10 CV Writing Tips In Drinks Industry
If you’re looking for a new position in the drinks industry or are looking to move up the ladder or simply sniff out a new opportunity, your CV is a really important part of your toolkit. There’s tons of advice online about writing a killer CV and sometimes this can become a bit overwhelming. This is why we thought it would be a good idea to give you a summary of what we think will help make your CV stand out in the competitive world of drinks companies in the UK and globally. Here are our Top Ten Tips:
- Take the task seriously. Putting together a winning CV requires effort, there’s no getting away from that. If you are re-doing your CV after a long break, or you’re writing your first CV, it can be tempting just to look on it as a task that “needs to get done”. It’s really important that you’re not tempted to look on your CV this way. Your CV is quite literally your shop window and to even stand a chance of getting in front of these all important drinks industry employers, you simply need to put all the effort into it that you would a top notch presentation to a board of directors. Taking the task seriously, setting aside the time required to get it right and perfecting it to the limit is the minimum. Don’t forget that the likes of Diageo, PepsiCo and Heineken get thousands of CVs day-in and day-out so you need to invest in yours if it’s going to get noticed.
- Understand exactly what the employer is looking for. There are few things worse than a candidate that thinks a one-size CV fits all drinks industry job opportunities. This couldn’t be further from the truth. The only way you can be sure your CV will hit the spot is to tailor it specifically to the needs, pains and problems that the employer is facing related to the role you’re after. Start by looking closely at the job ad. That will give you the broad lines of issues you need to address, thereafter, do your due diligence about the potential employer. You’ll be surprised at the subtle, but extremely useful information you can find online to help you target your CV so it really strikes a chord with the employer.
- Identify your own Unique Selling Points (USPs). We’re all familiar with USPs when it comes to businesses. No matter if a business is selling a service or a product, they don’t stand a chance if they don’t make clear the real and unique reasons why they’re the best choice for the consumer. Although as a candidate, you’re neither a product nor a service, you do have USPs. Make sure your USPs apply directly to the roles that you’ve had e.g. if you’re a Head Brewer, you need to show exactly why you’re a better Head Brewer than anyone else. To have a chance of standing out from the competition, you need to identify your USPs and put them into words that fit with what the employer is looking for. We’re not suggesting in any way that you’re dishonest here, they have to be real and true, but time spent identifying them will be time well spent.
- Know your characteristics. This is where your CV becomes really personal and a great way of showing your human make-up. Work-related characteristics might be things like ingenuity; tenacity; patience or drive. No matter what they are, again make sure they’re honest, accurate and add value to the job proposition you’re applying for. The right characteristics are particularly important in the highly competitive drinks industry.
- Pinpoint your significant achievements. When applying for any job in the drinks industry from executive accounts management to more junior posts, it’s essential to pinpoint your significant achievements and highlight why they are relevant to the employer you’re applying to. Where possible give evidence of the outcome of the achievement in terms of sales, savings or systems improvements. This part of your CV is a great way to show that you really understand what’s important in the big picture.
- Get your keywords spot-on. On the basis that there is currently less and less human intervention in the pre-interview selection process, making sure that your CV contains the appropriate keywords for the job you’re aiming to secure is essential. Make sure that your CV will stand out in any Applicant Tracking System (ATS) for the positions you’re aiming to be considered for. Take time to do some research for industry specific posts and make sure you incorporate your keywords naturally and contextually throughout your CV.
- Be aware that less is more. In most cases, two (max three) sides of A4 text is all that’s required for a CV. Although there are odd cases where more might add value, to be honest your CV will be more hard-hitting with less text than more.
- Get the layout right. Make sure you get your USPs right at the top of the first page to ensure that even if they don’t read anything else, they’ll know why you’re the very best candidate for the job.Your work history should be displayed with most recent role first. Any role that is over 10 years old, is probably not immediately relevant for roles you are applying for now – if you do include them, only include job title, company and dates to demonstrate your commitment and progression path. Make sure you have your name somewhere on every page. Stick to using only one typeface to ensure your CV is clear, easy to read and unfussy. Lastly, don’t bother putting Curriculum Vitae on the top – its obvious that it’s your CV!
- Don’t just regurgitate your job description. There’s nothing to be gained in simply giving a blow-by-blow description of what you do. The chances are that the potential employer knows what your role entails. What you need to do is match your tasks/duties/responsibilities with the needs and wants of the employer. This will help show that you truly understand what’s involved to stand out in the role that’s being proposed.
- Check, check, check and double check. A CV certainly isn’t the place to make spelling or grammar mistakes. If you’re not confident about your own abilities on this, hire someone to get it right for you. If you choose the right person and work well together, it’ll be money well spent.