Your CV (or, indeed, LinkedIn profile) is the first thing prospective clients will see when you apply to work with them and, of course, you want to set yourself apart from the other contractors in your field.
Let us tell you now, the way to do this is not by filling your CV with meaningless, clichéd buzzwords that are more likely to send prospective clients looking in the opposite direction. The Plain English Campaign largely deals with getting jargon out of public comms, but that ethos can be applied to your CV too. So, instead of rubbish, fill your CV with simple facts that tell clients all they need to know about you.
What are the words and phrases to avoid?
Works well individually or as part of a team
That you can do this is kind of a given in this day and age, and most clients expect you to work at a higher level than just ‘well’. Instead, try giving examples of where you have sat in various teams and how your role has contributed to the overall purpose.
Again, a bit of a given. A client isn’t going to offer you a contract if they don’t think you’re a hard worker. Demonstrate instead a time when you’ve gone the extra mile for a client and what this achieved. This is much more impressive.
Strong communication skills
The fact that you’re having to state your strong communication skills does not exactly speak highly of them. If your CV is written well, then it should get this across to the reader without you needing to highlight it. Produce a neat, clear concise CV that makes good use of language, headings, bullet points and so on – this will do the talking for you.
This has become so cliché in recent times that it’s almost laughable. It’s so vague that it says almost nothing. Results will vary so greatly from industry to industry and role to role that it’s pretty much pointless. Instead, give examples that are backed up by facts and figures to demonstrate your achievements. Did your copy increase sales for a business by more than 10%? Use it. If your most recent IT project made efficiency savings of £1million, say it.
If you genuinely are top of your field and, therefore, are a thought leader, it’s fine to use this. But if you’re not quite in the same league as Richard Branson or Bill Gates it may cause you to look a little narcissistic. Instead, explain your expertise and demonstrate it with achievements, qualifications, publications and so on. You’ll be instantly more convincing and more likeable.
At Kingsbridge, we like to think of ourselves as results driven thought leaders who work hard to get you the contractor insurance you need. Only joking. But we are great at contractor insurance. If yours is up for renewal or you need to sort it out from scratch, call our expert team on 01242 808740 or go online to get a quote.