How to write a killer CV and nail the job interview process, according to a LinkedIn executive

June 9, 2019 0 By HearthstoneYarns

Image credit: Lucas Dawson. 

The job application and interview process can be about as stressful and time-consuming as the job itself. There are interviews, meetings, cover letters, and difficult questions coming at you constantly, and often it’s a real minefield trying to make your way through it all with your professionalism (and dignity) intact.

Becky Dawson, the Head of Business Development at LinkedIn ANZ, knows the struggle all too well. Working at the career-led social media platform, Dawson is an expert at navigating the art of writing the perfect cover letter, and not imploding with nerves during an interview, thus rambling incoherently for half an hour, only to emerge dry-mouthed and dripping with sweat when it’s over. If you’re in the thick of job searching, or thinking of making the leap, Dawson has shared with Vogue eight pieces of career advice sure to put you in good stead.

Four steps to building out a great CV, according to Dawson:

“Your CV and cover letter have to be honest, well-written (please, no mistakes) and demonstrate your personality, as well as your sense of creativity.

There is value in highlighting professional and leadership experience separately within a CV.  While you may not be a CEO today, you may be contributing to community organisations, advising on boards or leading groups within your workplace. This is valuable and important to point out as it shows you know how to build and lead teams.

While there is an argument in the industry as to whether cover letters are still necessary, it does provide additional detail as far as why you may have had a gap in working (for example a redundancy or sabbatical) or to mention professional milestones. 

Be specific as to why you want to work for that company, and what you think you can do for them within your cover letter. It’s hard to capture this within a CV alone.”

Four steps for nailing a job interview, according to Dawson:

“Come in with a narrative about who you are, what you want out of a career, and what experience and skills you bring to the table.

Try to not digress from this narrative. You’ve created this because it’s the strongest argument for why they should hire you. Your experience and skills should support what you’re saying, and the hiring manager should walk away remembering at least three important things about you.

If you need help in defining this narrative, I’d recommend using the Strengths Finders assessment on LinkedIn to identify your strengths. Otherwise, ask your previous managers and colleagues what they value about you in a professional sense. That should help you get started.

Be candid and honest about your experience. Do not oversell yourself on things which you know are not your forte. The hiring manager is not assuming (nor expecting) perfection; there is a learning curve to any role no matter what level you are.”