How to Write a Public Affairs CV

Friday, October 23, 2020
How to write a public affairs CV

Your CV needs to work in a similar way that any piece of communication may be written to protect a reputation or provide a persuasive argument. In this case, it is about getting an interview. This is really the sole purpose of the CV. It is not about getting the job, that is the purpose of the interview. Your CV needs to get you over this first hurdle, and you only have one chance to do this.

Keep your CV short

There has been lots of research into how people read CVs. Although the exact length of time varies, somewhere between 5 second to 30 seconds seems to be the average time spent reading a CV. With this in mind, you have a ridiculously small window of opportuning to sell yourself. Keeping your public affairs CV to a 2 page format will help distil your mind and focus your attention on keeping it concise and punchy.

Write from the readers point of view

Being able to analyse situations from multiple stakeholder viewpoints is crucial in writing a CV just as it is within public affairs. A recruiter is not just time pressed; they are also assessing CVs against a set of criteria laid down in the person specification. The more closely you can align your public affairs CV to the specific requirements of a role, the better the CV will perform. Do not rely on one generic CV. Always tailor your CV to the role being applied for.

ATS Systems

Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS) are used by many employers and job boards to filter CVs. It is estimated that 70% of CVs are filtered out by ATS before they are ever read by a human. They work in a similar way that search engines like Google find relevant webpages when you enter a phrase to search. With ATS they are looking for concentrations of key terms and phrases aligned to those within the job description and person specification. The key to getting your public affairs CV through ATS systems – you guessed it – is to tailor your CV to the specific requirements of the role and make sure you include the key terms and phrases within.

State achievements and support with facts and figures

A public affairs CV should not just be a regurgitated job description. Yes, the reader wants to understand about your role and areas of responsibility, but it is most important to tell your story. After all, they know what a public affairs professional does – they are recruiting for one. You need to give the reader reasons for interviewing you. And this is going to be by demonstrating your expertise with specific examples and supporting these with facts and figures.

This article is written by Neville Rose, Director of CV Writers.

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