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Build a perfect CV with these 5 tips

By Hannah Murray, Recruiting Expert in Facilities Management

The demand for Technical Facilities Managers and experienced Facilities Coordinators remains constant but a change is coming with the completion of new buildings around Dublin in the very near future and the strength of service provider competition. Be ready for this change and start with a new CV that gets you noticed for the right reasons.

1. Do you see yourself in your summary?

Your summary is a three line, professional bio that leaps off the page. It gives employers an insight into who you are and not just what makes you great for the jobs but why you are better than the next CV they will read.

This is a great opportunity to display qualifications that are relevant to the job you are applying for. Mentioning BIFM accredited courses will help you stand out as an expert in the field.

Once you are happy you have created a summary that is both technical and creative, place it below your contact details and before your first experience point.

2. Experience is key… so is being specific

The difference between the description on a job ad and what’s on your CV is YOU! Don’t fall into the trap of copying and pasting your job description. Be specific, shout about your achievements, the skills you developed and the projects you lead.

Make sure you paint a clear picture of your experience. There are things you have achieved in your career that will set you apart from others.

When applying for management positions discuss fit out projects you have lead, health and safety achievements and your ability to bring a project to completion within budget. A multi-skilled manager will possess hard and soft management experience, make sure this is evident in your CV.

I worked with a Facilities Manager who had large office move project experience as part of his role but left it off his original CV as he believed it would take away from the core experience he wanted to convey. As it turned out, this experience was the reason he was ultimately successful.

3. Numbers are just as loud as words

Following on from a good description, add another dimension to your CV by giving some numeric context. How many square feet was the building you worked in? What was the staff count? How many employees did you manage? What was the size of your budget? etc.

If you are a Facilities Manager, employers want to know about the site you manage, the team you direct and the budget you control. As a Facilities Technician, you need to talk about the type of sites you work on, the equipment you maintain and include a description of the team you work with or lead.

I recently met a Technical Services Manager who appeared to have very little managerial experience. There was no evidence of the size of his team, the nature of the team’s work or whether he had been involved in training his team.

On meeting this candidate, he discussed his team which included both hard and soft service professionals whom he had trained on an internal maintenance schedule database. This was a crucial piece of experience that caught the attention of a large service provider who recently offered him a role with one of their biggest clients.

4. Don’t put your past behind you

“When I grow up I want to be a Facilities Manager”, very few people have ever said!

Your route to Facilities Management most likely came through another career path, don’t ignore this previous experience. Use it to stand out from the crowd and impress prospective employers, the skills you learned in previous jobs may prove to be the difference.

A soft service manager I met began his CV at management level when I asked about his previous experience it transpired he had been a chef who made their way up to management level in a catering services company. I asked him to take an evening and put back in all the chef and catering management experience, they were a little hesitant as they thought it wasn’t relevant.

With these additions to his CV, his career progression was far more impressive and snippets from his previous roles complimented his current experience. As a result, this candidate was called for an interview with two soft service companies; the rest is up to him!

5. Attention to detail

  • There’s a common myth that your CV should be two pages long… you want to be clear and concise in your description of your career but do not let two pages constrain you.
  • Leave your photo off your CV, it’s more of a hindrance than a help.
  • Make sure you use the same font throughout your CV, we recommend Arial (10-12pt).
  • Use bullet points to help separate items in your experience.
  • Get a friend to double check your CV for spelling errors, punctuation, spacing, font and font size before you send it out.

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