A great CV is one of the best ways to communicate your skills and experience to potential employers. But, it can be difficult to know where to begin and what to include. To make it easier for you we include here some suggestions for writing a great CV for the logistics and transport industry.
Tailor it to the job
If you are applying for a particular job it makes good sense to target your CV specifically to the role. Although the responsibilities of many logistics jobs may be similar from company to company every firm has particular ways of describing tasks and you can find these out from taking a close look at the job description. Incorporate their keywords into your own CV to make it clear you’ve understood the role and the company culture.
Include a focused profile section
Logistics jobs tend to be quite competitive and recruiters may receive many more CVs than expected – for that reason it’s crucial that you make it clear what’s unique about you. Using a short “profile” section at the top of your CV is a great way to attract attention. A lot of people use this space to write about their goals but it will be more convincing if you use it as a space to describe what you can bring to the company.
It doesn’t have to be overly elaborate: just one or two sentences will do. It’s normally best to write these in the third person, as if someone else is describing you. For example you could write something like:
“An experienced distribution manager with a proven track record of delivering products on time.” Or, “A highly-qualified maintenance engineer who excels at improving health and safety procedures”
Do research if applying abroad
A lot of logistics companies transport goods across national borders and plenty have offices across the globe. For this reason many logistics professionals find themselves working or living abroad at some point in their careers.
If you are applying for a job abroad (as a lot of logistics professionals do) it’s really important to look up how CVs are formatted in that particular country. There can be quite big national differences and if you send in a CV which looks very different to the preferred format it could put you at a disadvantage. For example, it’s common in Germany to include a photo, cover page and detailed information about your previous employment, but in the UK CVs tend to be only one or two pages long and rarely include photographs.
Add links to your social media accounts
More and more of the big logistics employers are hiring through social media or using it to research job applicants. If they are interested in your CV they may want to find out more about you and this extra information could be what sets you apart from the other candidates. Make it easy for them to find out more by including links to your social media profiles as well as your email and phone number.
A lot of companies create unusual sounding job roles and logistics firms are no exception to this rule! It’s not always clear what your tasks and responsibilities have been if you use a lot of company-specific terms so try to describe your experience in a way that makes it accessible. This is particularly important if you are looking to move between sectors or fields within the industry.
Show off your achievements
It’s sometimes easier to just write out your previous job description but your CV will really shine if you are able to write about your achievements or successes. It’s even better if you can include some numbers or figures in these to demonstrate what you did in your previous roles.
If you’re just starting out and feel you don’t have much to offer in this department don’t worry too much– it’s enough just to point to the things that you did well in your previous role such as working l as part of a team, or keeping important information up to date.
Use bullet points
Using bullet points is a good way to make your CV easy to read and understand. Remember – the purpose of a CV is to get a recruiter to invite you to interview (where they can find out more) not to overload them with information.
Consider buying a CV design
Microsoft Word isn’t always the easiest program to use to create a great looking documents but if you aren’t familiar with using any graphics programs it can be difficult to present a stand-out CV. As a rule of thumb the simpler the better but it’s always an option to buy a professional design online.
These are usually created in graphics programs such as InDesign or Adobe Illustrator and allow you to easily make changes to the design in Microsoft Word once downloaded. They can be a good option if it’s important for your CV to look very professional or if you want to include unusual ways of presenting information such as infographics.
Get a second opinion
Getting a second opinion on your CV is often one of the best ways to get ideas on how to improve it. If you have former colleagues or friends who work in the industry get them to take a look at your CV and ask them for some (constructive) feedback.
Spell check and spell check again!
Communication skills are one of the most in-demand skills in the logistics industry so show your commercial awareness by sending in an error-free CV. If you struggle to check through your own writing try printing it, reading it through from the bottom up or reading it out loud. These techniques will help you to notice errors or mistakes. If you struggle with spelling try running your CV through an online checker.