Summary CV or Detailed CV?
As a freelance Project Management/Programme Management contractor the main document I have to sell my services is my CV. This is a document that has taken years to hone and be in a position that I am really happy with it.
As my current assignment was coming to an end I decided to update my CV and get it out in the “jobsphere”. I spent some time looking at it and thought, did it need a refresh? Is it still relevant? Will it still work?
The current offering is 5 pages in length and details my career today well, the first page being a profile followed by a summary in key areas, those being –Project/Programme Management; General Management; People Management and Technical Application Management. Following on from this was the detailed chronology of roles over the subsequent 4 pages.
As well as looking at the CV I did a lot of research around the subject of CV’s and it became clear that most sites and articles suggested a summary CV of no more than 3 pages.
As a result I decided to change my CV with this in mind. I worked with a colleague to make sure that the content was compelling and developed the 3 page CV. I sent this out and seemed to get some initial interest and thought that was job done. In fact I even achieved an interview from the CV within a day of publishing it!! (Although I did not get the assignment in the end as I was too expensive for the client).
After the initial flurry of interest it got very quite. This is unusual as you normally get at least a couple of calls a week when job hunting and over the last few years with my 5 pager I was getting calls from people who had picked up my CV even thought I wasn’t actively seeking alternatives.
The fact it went very quite worried me a little and made me re-consider the content and was the summary CV the correct way to go? So I decided to develop a hybrid CV, taking the new rewritten summary from the new one and grafting it onto the more detailed CV.
With the hybrid CV developed and published I waited to see if this had changed the situation. To my surprise the number of calls increased considerably and one agent stated that he loved the detail in the CV as it answered a lot of the questions he would normally ask.
Detailed CV – The Winner
So in summary the recommendation from me in terms of your CV as an independent IT consultant is – develop a one page summary of your key skills and then provide a detailed chronology of your assignments with bullets of the key tasks you undertook.
If you are interested in having a look at my CV please contact me through the site and I will be delighted to send you a copy or advise my opinion on the best way to improve your current CV for the best effects.