CV Tips for Account Handlers
When I interview less senior account handlers, and also those who have decided to dip out of the industry, or go freelance, I always suggest they imagine how their CV is going to look to the reader. And “How do you want it to look in 5 years’ time?” Simply said you will be judged by your career decisions. So it all needs to be relevant, well thought out and thoroughly explained.
The key thing is that your CV needs to stand out. Imagine how many CVs prospective employers look at? Without a doubt CVs can be hard to write for many reasons. Often people don't feel comfortable talking about themselves, or know how much will be of interest or how much to include. To make it a bit less painful, here are some guidelines to get you going. Some tips may sound obvious, but it’s amazing how people don’t apply the basics! So….
- Write a short profile at the beginning of the CV outlining who you are and what you do/want. This gives a glimpse of you as a person. Here you can highlight the sectors you’ve worked in, disciplines you specialise in such as: brand creation, positioning, experiential, campaigns, digital, internal comms, corporate comms, packaging design etc. It will show where and how you might be relevant.
- Spelling and grammatical mistakes – no excuses here – there’s spell check! And ask at least two people to read your CV. As the person who is working in the communications world, excellent writing skills are essential for an account handler. If not, your CV may go into the bin – no joke!
- Likewise don’t say you have “great attention to detail”. Just don’t. Show me, don’t tell me. The number of CVs that state this and have zillions of typos is mind boggling!
"Excellent writing skills are essential for an account handler. If not, your CV may go into the bin – no joke!"
- Keep it chronological so that at a glance it’s easy to explain what you did and when. Explain the gaps. If you took time out to take a sabbatical, go travelling or have a baby, then include this.
- Include the websites of companies where you’ve worked. Don’t assume the reader has ever heard of the companies where you’ve worked at. There are thousands of businesses out there. It means that the reader has the option to check the company out at the click of a mouse.
- Give an outline of what a company does – for the same reasons as the point above.
- Include the accounts you've handled – the ones you have managed or assisted on. List the main ones. And if it’s an unknown client include a short bracket saying who they are and maybe what you did for them. E.g. “Jubilations” (wedding company; identity creation, website, print collateral, launch event).
- You can give one or two key case studies of a project you were highly involved in, showing what you’ve led, driven or supported on and explaining what the company did for the client, achieved.
- It might be relevant to give the “Reason for Leaving: ….” if you think it will help to explain why you left after 5 minutes. But keep the format short and to the point.
"Blow your own trumpet, no-one else will do it for you!"
- Interests, hobbies – if you have something different to say or you’re passionate about something, then say so. Mentioning cooking, reading, socialising or walking is boring. A passion for archaeological digs, writing regular blogs, being a dog walker, lover of Siberian comedy or being lead in a line dancing troupe, sound way more interesting – it’s memorable!
- Voluntary work – definitely mention any volunteer work you’ve ever been involved in.
- Don't forget to include courses, personal achievements, awards – creative writing, CIM, life time achievement for spaghetti making, Duke of Edinburgh, Bridge genius, hockey champion. Blow your own trumpet, no-one else will do it for you!
- Work Achievements – definitely mention this if you achieved something very significant. And include any awards that a brand you worked on might have received.
- Do include referees. If you have written references get them scanned and include them with your CV. And while you’re at it, if you’re on Linked In, make sure you have at least 3 references on your profile. It’s what I check out, if I like the CV I’m reading.
Good luck & happy writing!
If you're an account handler looking for the next step in your journey to greatness, send us your CV - we'd love to chat to you.