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What does a good web analytics CV look like?

Sam Jones – Managing Consultant at Harnham

Working in a recruitment agency means reading a lot of CVs, I would say something around 50 per day. Having spent over 5 years in analytics recruitment I’d estimate I’ve scanned over 60,000 CVs and there is probably a good chance I’ve seen yours. I’m going to share some brief advice on what a recruiter loves and hates to see on a web analytics CV – please take my bluntness on the subject as friendly advice!

The bad ones:

  • Avoid using company logos, graphs/pie charts, strange fonts, colourful text, silly email alias’s and pictures of yourself. Anything out of the ordinary leaves you open to judgement, which is usually something negative.
  • Keep it to 2 pages. Difficult for some but bear in mind that if a top MBA strategic consultant with 15 years’ experience can summarise their career on 1 page, you can do it on 2. No small font or walls of text; it simply isn’t going to get read.
  • Long paragraphs and lengthy introductions (more than 3 lines), lack of bullet points, page borders and poor layouts such as using tables and grids are always a bad sign.
  • Quoting LinkedIn referrals and multiple references to social media are not advised.
  • Don’t oversell technical skills – you will get caught out at interview.

A good CV will be structured as follows:

  • A simple header with only your relevant contact details.
  • A short introduction outlining skills and aspirations for the next career move (no longer than a few lines).
  • Key technical skills section – list these with your strongest first. This is a good place for buzz words which both recruiters and clients search for. Don’t include too many and if you are looking to get into web analytics avoid lots of PPC/SEO references as they just aren’t relevant. You may want to add academics details here, or some prefer to leave it at the bottom of a CV.
  • Work experience –
    • Keep sections clear and concise with dates and any long gaps explained. More info should be given to most recent work and earlier career information can be summarised towards the end. Bullet points are a must throughout.
    • Use buzzwords and technical tools a second time here. Remember to focus on any key projects and achievements and explain what you actually did.
    • An experienced web analyst may want to add a few bullet points under each section of Digital Analytics/Optimisation/Technical/Key achievements to really showcase skills.
  • Personal/other – any personal interests that are relevant. Nothing too strange or that again might leave you open to judgement!

To summarise; the first impressions of your CV are very important and an experienced recruiter or client is likely to make some sort of decision in the first few moments of scanning it so make sure you get the basics right. A CVs only purpose is to get you an interview so focus on key and relevant skills that ideally mirror a job spec or position you are applying for.

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