Ask a recruiter - how to repurpose my CV?

Recent artcile written by James Irwin, Director at Irwin & Colton for IOSH for The IOSH Magazine -  

I’m looking for a new challenge. I’m very ambitious and have done exceptionally well in my current post. I’ve learnt a huge wealth of new skills but always find it very hard to repurpose my CV, so that I can capture all of this valuable information. What would you suggest I focus on? 

To answer your question, I think it is important to state categorically that the ‘perfect’ CV does not exist. There is not a standard CV template, which ticks every box that is floating round which everyone else has apart from you. There are however a few key steps to take which will make the process of including information from your current role as simple as possible. 

Initially, I would strongly suggest investing considerable time in deciding where you want to get to in your career and mapping back to see what steps you need to take to get there. Once you complete this exercise and have a clear understanding of where you want to go, the process of CV writing becomes much easier. Your long-term goal might be to become a Global Head of Health and Safety in a construction company. If you are a Health and Safety Manager now, you could decide the best next step is into a more senior position where you will gain more management and leadership experience to ultimately help you reach your goal.  

Once you complete this exercise and have a clear understanding of where you want to go, the process of CV writing becomes much easier. 

If you have mapped your long-term objectives and know what you want your next step to be you can repurpose your CV accordingly. In the previous example, to take on a more senior role you should bring out your people management, training, project management and leadership experience. You may end up with 3-4 concise CV’s focused on different areas, one for team management, one for a technical specialism and perhaps one highlighting international work – everyone is different.

I would strongly suggest focusing on including achievements in your career. How much did the accident rate reduce by? What new wellbeing initiatives have you implemented and what was the impact? Precisely what cost savings have been made? Did you successfully take the company through ISO 14001? Be specific with clear, concise examples backed up with facts and figures.

Now you are including the most recent achievements on your CV look back at other roles. Is it as important to have bullet points on the Health and Safety Co-Ordinator role you held 10 years ago or is just the title, company and dates sufficient? Reducing space in this role will enable you to invest more space in more relevant and recent achievements.

James Irwin is a Director at Irwin & Colton, a specialist health, safety and environment recruitment company. Contact or 01923 432 632.  

Irwin & Colton are a specialist Health and Safety recruitment company, based in the South East of England we recruit across the UK.  We recruit all roles in the health and safety industry from Health and Safety Manager, Health and safety Director through to Health and Safety Advisor positions.

Posted on Wednesday Mar 28