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News Enterprising Women

Serious CV skills at Second Enterprising Women Seminar

25 Apr 2017

Victoria McLean Enterprising Women Seminar on CV writing

The IoD’s Enterprising Women Seminar series continued at 116 Pall Mall on Tuesday, this time welcoming CV guru Victoria McLean, chief executive of award-winning CV and career consultancy, City CV.

What did we learn?

90 per cent of recruiters reject applicants on their CV alone, begins Victoria. So there are some vital steps to follow in making sure that a CV portrays the applicant as an invaluable asset.

Think about your audience

Before you begin your CV, make sure you brainstorm. Think about your audience, the impact you would have on the company, what expertise can you bring, and what your USP is. Focus on what you CAN do, not what you can’t.

Create your pitch

Why would the business benefit from hiring you? Make this as clear as possible, with a searchable job title, and positive and concise but powerful executive summary. Bold text and bullet points can emphasise key points.

From here, look to hook the reader in with an overview on your previous role, with a brief context on the company, and the ‘story’ of what your role entailed. Lists are to be avoided, while focussing on projects, timeframes, budgets and impact.

The specifics of each previous role can be bullet pointed, and quantified if necessary.

  • Think, where there any challenges?
  • What savings/profits were made?
  • Particular clients or revenue details?
  • Any projects or awards worth mentioning?

Remember the three FAB golden rules, says Victoria. Fact. Action. Benefit.


Victoria advises not to dwell on specifics of the education section. Include impressive grades only, keep the dates short and simple, and only mention the professional development relevant to the application.

IT skills outside of MS Office should be listed under additional skills, along with any proficient languages, non-executive/board positions, and any active interests and passions.


Victoria ended her session with a  reminder that CV applications aren’t the only way of appealing to prospective employers. LinkedIn have 350 million users worldwide, and 97% of head-hunters use it to find executive prospects, and screen existing applicants. Often those not on LinkedIn are overlooked!

Victoria’s company CV City offer professional CV and LinkedIn writing, interview coaching and career branding, for multiple sectors.

Join us at the Enterprising Women Summit 2017 – 16 June

Join us and some of the country’s most inspirational business women at The Enterprising Women Summit 2017 on 16 June, to hear fascinating stories, learn how to implement lasting changes in your company and leave motivated to accelerate your career.

Find out more

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