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Improving my CV

What do I need on my CV to make myself a strong contender for my next job?

The sample job descriptions and person specifications you have collected will be useful here.

It will help you to spend some time examining the difference between your own job description and person specification and those for the kinds of job you’re looking for. Make sure you can see the difference between the level of responsibility if you’re looking for promotion.

If you’re looking for a sideways move, then you should still be looking at the difference between the person specifications. The actual duties and responsibilities in the next job may be very different to what you do now, but what matters is how many transferable skills you have for the new role. (You may for example, never have used a particular IT system which appears in a job description for a new job, but the person specification may ask that you are IT literate and have experience of using databases. In that case, do you have experience of using databases? Or is this a skills gap for you?)

The key questions at this stage are:

Can I demonstrate that I can perform at the higher level of responsibility in order to achieve a promotion?

Can I demonstrate that I have the relevant skills and experience for a sideways move?

Be tough on yourself when you answer these questions- a recruiter will be rigorous in identifying whether or not you are suitable for a role, and so it’s worth investing time on this part of the process.

These activities may help you to map out the potential skills gap.

List the skills and experiences required by the kind of job you’re looking for, then list the evidence you do have and what you may need.
It’s worth remembering that you are unlikely to possess every skill or experience that a recruiter is looking for. This should not deter you from thinking about your next career move, but by identifying what you need and then trying to close as many skills/experience gaps as possible you will certainly improve your chances of at least getting shortlisted.

By this stage you should be clear on what gaps there are between what you can offer now, and what a recruiter will be looking for