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Mastering the Art of CV Writing: How to Stand Out with Detailed Experiences

Your CV, or curriculum vitae, is often the first impression that a potential employer has of you. As such, it is important to make sure that your CV is well-written, concise, and effectively highlights your skills and experiences. However, not all CVs are created equal. In this article, we will explore the difference between good and bad CV writing, using the sentence "Managed a team of 5 people" as an example.


First, let's take a look at how this sentence might appear in a bad CV:


"Managed a team of 5 people."


While this sentence provides some basic information about the candidate's experience, it is not very descriptive. It does not give the reader any indication of what the team did, how the candidate managed them, or why this experience is relevant to the job they are applying for. This lack of detail can make it difficult for the candidate to stand out from other applicants and may even result in their CV being overlooked altogether.


So, how can this sentence be rewritten in a more effective way? One approach is to use the "what, how, why" method of writing, which involves breaking down each experience into three parts:

  • What: What did you do?

  • How: How did you do it?

  • Why: Why is this experience relevant?

Using this method, the sentence "Managed a team of 5 people" might be rewritten as follows:

  • What: Led a team of 5 customer service representatives responsible for handling over 500 customer enquiries per week.

  • How: Implemented a new training program that increased team productivity by 25% and reduced customer wait times by 50% to better align with company goals and improve team performance.

  • Why: This experience demonstrates my ability to effectively manage a team, achieve company objectives, and foster a collaborative team environment.

CV in job interview

In this revised sentence, the candidate has provided much more detail about their experience. They have specified what their team did (handled customer enquiries), how they managed the team (implemented a new training program), and why this experience is relevant (demonstrates their ability to manage a team and improve customer satisfaction).


Some more examples:


"Treating and rehabilitating sport and MSK injuries"

  • What: Designed and implemented a comprehensive rehabilitation program for professional athletes recovering from ACL injuries.

  • How: Collaborated with orthopaedic surgeon, strength and conditioning coaches, and sports psychologists to create a multi-disciplinary approach that focused on holistic recovery.

  • Why: This experience demonstrates my ability to develop effective treatment plans that prioritize the athlete's well-being while ensuring they are able to perform at their best level.


"Developing and testing javascript code"

  • What: Developed a new feature for an e-commerce platform using React and Redux.

  • How: Conducted thorough testing using Jest and Enzyme, and collaborated with UX designers to ensure the feature was both functional and user-friendly.

  • Why: This experience demonstrates my proficiency in JavaScript development, testing, and collaboration, and highlights my ability to develop high-quality code that meets both user needs and business requirements.


This level of detail not only makes the candidate stand out from other applicants, but also gives the potential employer a better idea of how they might fit into the company and contribute to its success.


In conclusion, good CV writing is all about providing relevant, detailed information about your experiences and skills. By using the "what, how, why" method, you can effectively showcase your strengths and demonstrate your value to potential employers. Avoid vague, generic statements like "Managed a team of 5 people" and instead provide specific examples that highlight your abilities and accomplishments. With a well-crafted CV, you can increase your chances of landing your dream job and advancing your career.

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