CV Tips: How to Sell Yourself to Potential Employers

At Harnham, our recruitment consultants spend hours each day reviewing CVs. You’d be surprised at how many of these CVs are focused heavily on technical details, with hardly any emphasis on the business impact of their work.

In fact, Ross Henderson, Director and Head of Harnham’s Netherlands branch speaks with many candidates where this is the case. However, when he asks these individuals to provide some examples of their business impact over the phone, they’re typically able to list many.

So, it’s generally not a case of being inexperienced – rather, it’s simply not knowing how to tell a story on their CV in a way that sells their experience.

Why This Matters More Than Ever

Whether you’re applying for an entry-level role or aiming for a leadership position, showcasing the commercial benefits of your data projects is key. There are a few reasons why this is more crucial than ever:

  • Increased competition: With the rising number of job applicants in the data field, setting yourself apart is crucial. Demonstrating the real-world results of your work helps you stand out and puts your skills in the spotlight.
  • Businesses are focused on cost savings: Companies are exercising caution with their budgets, making it essential to prove that you bring a solid return on investment. Highlighting how your data initiatives lead to cost savings or revenue growth can give you a competitive edge.
  • Many employers are expecting it: Many job postings now specifically ask for candidates to detail the commercial impact of their work. Don’t risk missing out on opportunities by omitting this vital aspect from your CV.

It’s understandable that data professionals might prioritise the technical aspects over salesmanship. However, your CV is the perfect platform to showcase the value you bring to an organisation. Be explicit about the positive outcomes and business benefits resulting from your analytical expertise!

CV Tips: How to Highlight the Commercial Impact of Your Work

We’ve covered this topic before, but we thought it was worth summarising a point made in a previous post on how you can highlight your experience in a way that shows your achievements.

To show the commercial impact you’ve had on the business you work for, it’s important to articulate how a task or action led to a result, and to provide data to back up your claim. For example, you could say “Reduced bad debt costs by 13% whilst increasing accept rate by 7%” which is a lot stronger than simply stating “reduced bad debt costs and increased accept rates”.

Also, it is worth briefing explain the steps you took to achieve this result. For example, “I devised a refer rate strategy, coding daily lists in SAS. Once automated, refer rates fell by 15%. We saw an instant 8.3% reduction by implementing daily lists to underwriting.”

In short, don’t just say what you did. Explain how your actions made a tangible impact on the business.

If you’re a data professional in the Netherlands seeking work and would like some feedback on your CV, feel free to get in touch.

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