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You only get one chance to make a first impression!


Would you go to an interview in scruffy clothes and poorly presented?  Would you fail to plan and prepare before that interview?  If you are approaching your job search seriously, I am sure you wouldn’t deny yourself the best chance of success by preparing and presenting yourself appropriately.


However, when it comes to producing and distributing a well-composed and well-presented CV, there can be a tendency for individuals to go into panic mode when they know they will be seeking an alternative role.  I appreciate this is a normal knee-jerk reaction but just pause a moment and reflect.  Planning the content and style of your CV is just as important as preparing for an interview - in fact, even more so. 


·         Your CV is usually the very first impression that a potential employer has of you. 

·         Your CV is one of your most important marketing tools. 

·         Your CV is You PLC – your brand, your image. 


So ensure it presents you in the best possible light.


Oh, I can tidy that up later,” you might say,” time is of the essence.”  Yes, you want to move quickly and an Outplacement Consultant will work with you to meet your deadlines but remember:


·         Once your CV gets into the market place, you can easily lose track and control of it. 

·         The CV gets onto databases and CV libraries and you can easily forget where you posted it. 

·         If you decide to work with agencies, they register it against your name and instigate searches

          against it.  Yes, you can always send your updated and improved CV out to the agency at a

          later date but will the recruitment consultant remember to update their records and the

          database and dispose of the old version? 

·         Will the agency submit your old CV for that role in which you’re particularly interested? 

·         Will those databases and libraries get updated with the new version of the CV? 

·         Who has seen your CV in the meantime and considered you inappropriate for a role or an

          organisation  because of its content and style?  And they may not reconsider any further

          applications from you.


Keep control of your image and protect and preserve the quality of your presence in the market.


Research using a scientific technique called eye-tracking shows that a professional recruiter will scan and make a decision on your CV within 5-7 seconds.  It’s worth delaying for just a day or so – that’s all it takes with an Outplacement Consultant’s help – to ensure you create a CV which clearly identifies your key attributes and achievements and which is presented in a professional way which catches – and maintains - the attention of the reader. 


Remember, too, that your LinkedIn profile should be improved and updated to reflect what you have to offer and much of the work involved in the creation of your new CV will be useful in undertaking that activity.  Online recruiters will be searching LinkedIn to source appropriate candidates for their vacancies. 


·         Does your LinkedIn profile contain the relevant words in sufficient quantities to attract their


·         Have you used a professional photograph? 

·         Do you have references on display and a list of relevant key skills which have been endorsed? 


Those who receive your CV will also be checking your LinkedIn profile so ensure your profile reflects and endorses your CV.


You may only get one chance for that ideal role.  Don’t waste it.  Stay calm and get it right first time. Don’t run the risk of actively damaging your opportunity to succeed right at the outset.

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Janet Henson-Webb has helped a wide range of clients with their careers at various stages of their lives, including new graduates trying to find their way in the job market and seasoned professionals seeking a career move or their next role.  Contact her at janet@jhwuk.co.uk for further information on how she can help.


"Your CV is You PLC - your brand, your image.

So ensure it presents you in the best possible light."