Show Your Strengths on Your CV

What are strengths?

Strengths are your natural positive attributes, often things that you use without realising on a daily basis in all areas of your life, not just in work.  An easy way to start to build a picture of your strengths is to think about something in your life that has gone really well, write down what you did to make it a success and the top three strengths you used.

Writing down the strengths you used to bring success is a good starting point for a CV or application form as it helps you to be in a positive mindset.  I’ve summarised some of my favourite CV advice below, which I think gives the opportunity to show your strengths, I hope you find it helpful.

If you are also refreshing your social media profile you could take a look at My LinkedIn Profile as an example.

For your CV, start with your name and the job for which you are applying, followed by your contact details.  You may want to change the order of the below depending on the role you are applying for and the relevance of each section.  Recruitment experts advise sticking to a maximum of two pages if you can.

Personal profile: This is your opportunity to make an impact within the first few seconds and may be the section on which the recruiter makes the decision to read further.  You could include who you are, your key strengths, what you are looking to do in your next role and the value you bring to an employer.

Key achievements: Consider showing three to four key achievements that are relevant to the role for which you are applying.  For each one describe the achievement, what you did to get there and the benefit to the client, team, organisation or community.

Skills: A skill is something you can learn and can be transferred to different settings.  Describe skills that are relevant to the role for which you are applying.  Give examples of when you have used each one and describe the result, for example an increase in productivity.

Work experience: CV experts recommend starting with your most recent role.  If you have not been in work for a while, however you have been doing something relevant to the role for which you are applying, you may wish to consider starting with that.  Include the job title, organisation and dates. Rather than simply listing your duties you could describe what you did, how you did it, your main achievements and which of your key strengths you used.

Qualifications and training: Consider starting with the most recent first, however you may want to start with the one that is most relevant to the role for which you are applying.  Include the training or qualification title, place or method of study and the date of achievement as a minimum.  Consider highlighting the key benefits to a potential employer.

Interests: This is your opportunity to show your personality and what is important to you. You may want to consider including some personal goals and reference how you plan to build on your strengths to maximise your success.

The above is just a suggestion and the list is not exhaustive, you may want to add other sections and change the order.  I recommend checking out the many different websites to help you to construct your CV.

Check out my Career Coaching page to see how Your Coaching Journey could look and read about the benefits of career coaching.

See my career change video tips to help you find a new career you love.

The Big Issue Jobs and Training Toolkit provides some CV writing advice and templates.