CV Writing by Caroline Vooght at Expion
Caroline is an experienced recruiter for the Food/FMCG industry. With over 20 years’ experience, she’s seen her fair share of CVs and is able to advise on what clients and hiring manager are looking for. As part of the Expion Search and Selection team, she offers recruitment and support for both clients and candidates and this is the first in a series of articles offering insight to the YFJ audience.
CV Writing can be a minefield if you don’t know where to start. There are hundreds of online templates and there is a plethora of advice and guides available. Everyone has an opinion. Plenty of elements people think should be included, things people think should be left off, differing opinions on ordering, layout. The list goes on…
But what do Food and FMCG businesses want to see? Here’s our guide to what to include, and things that do make a difference.
Step 1 – Keep the CV simple and easy to read
Your CV is your first impression, and it needs to appeal quickly to the reader. It’s said that a judgement is made in 7 seconds as to whether the candidate is of interest, so just like a book, your CV is your cover.
It needs to sell YOU!! All that a hiring manager or recruiter wants to see quickly is whether your experience, achievements and technical skills fit into their company and could do the job well. Don’t ramble and don’t try to list every single piece of experience you have into the description of all your jobs.
Remember, it’s a sad fact that it’s very unlikely every word you’ve painstakingly written will be read, and people won’t search for information. It needs to be apparent what you’ve done, and quickly.
In the Food / FMCG sector, hiring managers want to see specifics. Have you worked with specific products, packaging formats, retailers, foodservice customers. If it’s in the public domain, there’s no reason why it can’t be included on your CV.
A great place to start is a brainstorm. Here are a few ideas to get you started on what to think about / include:
- Summarise your KPI’s and where you’ve achieved high acclaim.
- Where have you made a difference?
- Have you reduced costs, increased efficiencies, or Customer Service levels?
- Did you manage a budget – how effective were you, what size was it?
- Have you created a strategy which you’ve implemented and where did it deliver results?
Technical / QA:
- Where have you generated improvements in food safety and quality?
- Have you reduced complaints, improved audit outcomes, built relationships with retailers?
- Did you create and evolve a robust quality system?
- Demonstrate your knowledge of working with customers (if applicable) or managing key stakeholders – what specific difference have you made?
- What improvements have you made to key measurables in engineering? Improved OEE?
- Reduced downtime / breakdowns / regular failures?
- Project experience – what value are the projects, what impact did they create?
- What’s your knowledge of equipment, and of driving change?
- How have you developed your engineering team or colleagues to grow their capability?
Innovation / NPD:
- Which categories / products have you worked across? E.g. bakery
- What have you delivered to market that’s been particularly successful (quote sales uplift figures / time on shelf etc)?
- Can you demonstrate knowledge across all aspects of development such as packaging, process, recipe development, regulatory, nutrition?
- Which customers / brands have you developed products for?
- Have you experience of 3PL / 4PL? Is it Warehousing and Logistics?
- Have you experience of procurement? If so, what products and spend levels have you been exposed to?
- Do you have knowledge of international movement of products and understand customs requirements? Have you managed logistics and transport providers and to what level of spend?
- Where have you created efficiencies across the Supply Chain?
Once you’ve had a brainstorm, you’ll have a lot of ideas and you’re in a great place to start.
We advise a CV starts with a personal statement, moves onto a list of roles (with responsibilities and achievements), and concludes with qualifications and personal interests. We advise a CV should be 2 pages, 3 if needed.