Let the best you shine through

Added: 30th January 2019 by KPMG

The first recorded CV was produced by Leonardo Da Vinci in 1482. Leo listed his main talents as rock flinging and building bridges, proving that core skills are very much relative to the job at hand. What skills do you have and how can you best showcase them?

The evolution of the CV – from sketches to video

In the 1500’s, travelling workers used CVs to introduce themselves to the Lord of the manor while in the 1700’s portraitists (who were quite a big deal back then) used them to highlight the famous faces they had sketched rather than lug their heavy paintings around with them. By the 1950s they had become more formalised and generally included more personal information such as marital status and even, in some cases, weight!

Throughout the 60’s and 70’s the trend for CV’s really took off. More personal flair was added, with more people including hobbies and the likes outside of work.

During the 1990s the internet continued to change the way both employers and perspective employees viewed CV’s. The introduction of LinkedIn helped bring CV’s online, ensuring they reached a wider and more diverse audience, and with the launch of YouTube came the emergence of video CV’s.

Throughout the evolution of the CV however, employers have only ever been interested in one thing – do you have the necessary skills, personal attributes and motivation for the job?

How you can best showcase yourself today

Make sure you do your research and consider all of the skills that are relevant to each individual position you apply for. Be clear on what the company is looking for and think about how the role matches your career motivations, skills and values. Think about how you present your motivations and skills too. Interests like social media and gaming may not seem relevant on their own as examples to share, or in a business sense at least.

But commercial awareness, problem solving and being good with numbers are all in high demand from employees in the Technology sector, for example. Think broadly about your experiences, hobbies and interests that might have taught you key skills – it doesn’t have to be work experience. Things like team sports, community volunteering, blogging, university activities as well as your education, part-time work, internships, insight days and workshops.

Tips from our Technology Graduate, Sophie:

“The advice I would give is to proactively seek out the type of work that you want to be doing and carve out your own path based on that.
Show that you are willing to learn new skills and put in extra hours to develop yourself if necessary. In addition, try not to worry about feeling out of your depth or having to ask lots of questions –everyone has been in the same situation at some point.”

Increasingly, employers are placing value on skills outside of academic qualifications that show your whole self, so it’s important you allow your true self to shine through in any application. Learn more about KPMG’s variety of Graduate Programmes in Technology.

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