CV Advice

There are literally hundreds of general websites and recruitment blogs offering CV advice, so why does the prospective Business Intelligence job seeker need specific advice?

Here at BI Jobs we think that knowledge of the market is everything when dispensing advice, so here are some very selective pointers to help you put together a great CV, based on over 15 years recruitment experience in the Business Intelligence sector.

Remember that all the research suggests that your CV may only receive a very short review by recruiters, possibly only as little as 6 seconds, so its important to make that great first impression.

Format & Presentation
For BI roles, keep to the tried and trusted CV formats, and don’t be tempted by anything a little bit out of the ordinary – leave these options for candidates in Marketing, Advertising and other “creative” fields. You should be able to find a good starting template in your word processor program, but if not there are templates aplenty on the web that would suit a Technical Professional, a google search for “CV template technical professional” is a great place to start. Make sure you include your career experience in “reverse chronological” order, and, above all, eliminate those typos by using the spell checker! It is vital to use a vocabulary that allows you to emphasis your achievements (as opposed to your duties and responsibilities) so action phrases like “delivered a dashboard for Marketing” or “produced month-end reporting suite for Accounts” work much better than vague phrases such as “involved in unit testing” or “responsible for performance improvements”.

We’ve seen everything from a 1 page CV to an 18 page monster CV listing a BI contractors every assignment. In general you won’t go far wrong if you present a 2, 3 or 4 page CV depending on the length of your experience and seniority. Contractors often stray over this as they become afraid to edit down previous assignments, and simply add the latest assignment in front of an already long list. The reality is that a client will probably only hire you on the strength of your recent assignments – so get editing! An over-long CV can create the impression that you don’t know what to focus on!

Personal Data
Personal Data needs to be kept brief and to the point. We would always advise giving name, address (City and postcode will suffice) and contact details such as an email address and phone number.  There is no reason to include anything which could give rise to discrimination, such as age, date of birth, marital status or ethnicity. Telling the world via your CV that your marital status is “happily married to Jacqueline for 18 years” is not such a great idea.

The most common mistake we see is candidates omitting their address, perhaps mistakenly thinking that this will open up more opportunities geographically, than it would by stating the town where they live. Unfortunately this is not the case, and omitting your address will actually reduce your chances of securing a great role – most recruiters will prefer to hire a local candidate if possible, and you will be missing out on those great local opportunities if you don’t tell anyone where you live! Employers & Recruiters need to get a feel for the whole person from the CV, and knowing where they live is a vital part of building that picture.

Do I need variants on my CV?
This is one of the most common CV questions we get asked as recruiters in the BI space. I always advise candidates to prepare one master CV that they would be happy to submit to any job opening, and to focus their efforts on getting this document the best it can be. Once you have this, and are confident it can’t be improved on significantly, you can consider using it as a base for a more specialised CV, if you think it will enhance your competitiveness for a more specialised role. Generally though, recruitment agencies will prefer to see your “master” CV, even if you consider creating variants to submit direct to specific employers. When creating variants, you should be careful not to over-state experience just because you believe it would help you to get the job, as most likely you would be exposed at interview.

What’s next?
Once you have created your master CV, why not have it checked out by the experts? Every candidate registering on BI Jobs is offered a free CV review courtesy of our site partners CV Now - Just Click Here - It could be just what you need to secure that all important next role!

Wishing you the Very Best of Luck with your job search!

Brian Stalley, Founder, BI Jobs


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