Creating effective CVs & bios

At our recent virtual Members’ Meeting we had a very thought-provoking discussion with Paul Mullan, the founder of, Outplacement Consultant and Career Coach, on creating effective CV’s, LinkedIn profiles and bios.

In a recent survey of 46 companies carried out by

Paul Mullan, - Creating CVs & Bios

  • 93% still accept CV’s;
  • 76% of employers review a candidate’s LinkedIn profile before interview; and
  • 43.5% reviewed all cover letters.

In relation to CV’s, Paul outlined what he considered to be the 3 critical principles:

  1. Information Positioning: Are you getting across the critical information in the first 10-15 seconds that an employer spends reading the CV?
  2. Visual Appearance: A CV should be clean and simple and does not require elaborate graphic design.
  3. Content is king: Focus on outcomes rather than duties and responsibilities using action verbs e.g. implemented, initiated, delivered.

A LinkedIn profile should contain the same information as a good CV but should contain only 60%-70% of the bullet points. A maximum of 20% of effort should be spent creating a LinkedIn profile and a minimum of 80% driving traffic to the profile e.g. using your LinkedIn URL in your email signature, being active on the platform.

When looking for a job it is important to make use of your personal network as only 1 out of 3 jobs is advertised publicly (i.e. 2 of 3 job opportunities are ‘hidden’).