I have read thousands upon thousands of CV’s over the past 25 years as a Recruiter so wanted to share some tips on how to write an informative yet clear and concise resume for Organisational Change Practioners. The market is competitive so you want cut through with your CV – one that stands out and ensures you get that interview.
Remember not all recruiters are created equal either. I specialise in #changemanagement so can look at a #cv and know quickly just how much change management experience this person has actually had. However, you may put in an application where an internal recruiter (who have 20+ roles on and work across a number of disciplines and business units) are receiving your CV. They are only looking at years of experience with Change Management Titles. They may be looking for specific wording in the CV that matches their Position Descriptions. Your CV may get scanned by AI and if you don’t have the right words in it you are not selected.
The key is the right information. Not lots of words that tell me nothing. Don’t have an opening paragraph where all you talk about are your soft skills – how you are bubbly, a people person, love taking people on a journey and have good stakeholder management skills. I would be worried if a Change Manager had bad stakeholder management skills but I can delve further into softer skills at interview. A CV is getting information across so a client can see WHAT you have done.
You still need to include your address, contact number, career summary, education, qualifications etc in your CV but this information is pertaining to the information you add in your CV on what you did.
Regarding the length of CV. I personally do not like one pagers. It tells me nothing. My preference as a recruiter is more detail (but also not one page per project thanks). Seriously folks a 4 – 7 page CV is ok. List current role down to last 5 years in more detail. After that a line for timeframe, company and title is fine. Showing where you worked 20 years ago and what industry is actually really useful to know but I do not need to have more detail.
There is a time and place for a one pager of course – part of a tender for a consulting piece of work for example. But I’m directing these comments to those applying for permanent or fixed term or daily rate work.
Layout of a CV. Plain is ok! Do not get fancy and have pictures and arrows and thumbs up and columns everywhere combined with emojis on your CV. Remember these gorgeous layout CV’s could get screwed up depending on what app the resume is submitted through.
Also I don’t mind a bit of white space between your projects. It enables a person to read easily and differentiate straight away where a role starts and finishes.
Information to include in the CV. You really need to show a range of the projects / programs you have worked on from a Change Management perspective. As an example if you have been at one firm for 3 years in a Change Manager role and worked on 20 projects during that time, try show a range of the projects during that time. You don’t need to list all the small BAU change projects that perhaps were 6 weeks to 1 month long. You would want to highlight projects that are more complex. If you have the experience across the breadth of change you would want to show the variety of change expertise you have. Eg: You were involved in an Operating Model program, large technology change program or complex process change projects.
I like to know what was the project about? Why were they changing? How many stakeholders were impacted, what were the risks/issues, what your role was there to do and what was the outcome from the work you did. Did you manage a team? I like to see if you have managed a team on each project (how many people and types of functions eg: Change Managers, Change Analysts, Trainer, Communication Manager etc).
Give size to the program or project of work. How many stakeholders would be impacted? Internal/External?
Are there measurements you can draw upon (ensuring they are clear and quantitative measurements), ROI is a good one of course (if possible), and what was outcome (you were able to show benefit to the business of the change) etc.
Think about the STAR technique that you use in your interviews. Situation, Task, Action, Result. STAR is not just an interview tip technique but also serves people well in their CV too with getting across the right information.
- S – What was the project about (why did they need the project to go ahead eg: the why for change)
- T – What were you there to do
- A – What were your responsibilities (don’t cut and paste your job description)
- R – What was the outcome (your achievements – paragraph or two or three of what you successfully delivered – if change measurable then what was outcome etc)
Here is an example of some project content to give you an idea of what I am talking about….
Mar 2020 – Sept 2021 Client – Asgard
Organisational Change Management (OCM) Lead
Stakeholders Impacted: 5000 (national)
Change Team: 3 (change analyst, training manager, communications manager)
Project Thor – New ERP
The ERP implementation was a complex project that replaced multiple legacy ERP systems to establish a cloud-based, digital core ERP solution consistent with the client’s strategic objectives. The system implementation covered a range of business capabilities including supply management, product sales management, product and service lifecycle management, and finance and asset management and resulted in one of the largest ERP implementations in Australia at the time.
I led the scope of change management work (from business case through to go live) for this implementation of their brand-new Enterprise Resource Platform (ERP) that impacted approximately 5000 national employees including the client’s warehouse distribution network.
Responsibilities included managing a team of change professionals and scope of work to deliver training, communications, engagement, business readiness, and change measurement activities.
Through solid delivery of change activities, the transformation was successfully supported through to Go Live and into hyper care in line with best practice approaches and change management methodologies.
- 100% Positive Survey feedback from the 100 internal communications activities (articles, emails, videos, interactive documents, gamification artefacts)
- 100% positive survey feedback on all 350 training artefacts (e-learning modules, QRGs, Job Aids etc.)
- Managed a Change Network of approximately 70 cross-functional stakeholders
- 100% employee satisfaction survey for implementation.
AND PLEASE Remember this is aimed at Change Managers who can get away with a 3-7 page CV. Recruiters (internal or external) would not have more than 5 Change roles on at one time, and therefore could dedicate “some” time to go through your CV. If you are a Project Manager or a Business Analyst – you may decide to have 2 CV’s (one brief and one more indepth). Recruiters in the PM/BA space may have 20-40+ roles on at once so they don’t have time to go through an indepth 7 page CV.