The So What Test

3 Mins

Does your CV pass the “so what?” test? 

Post summer, lots of graduates enter the job market after a long-awaited summer of festivals and exam results - and that means tackling the CV for the first time for many.

But this applies to those of us who’ve been in the same job for a while and are only now blowing the dust off that old CV.

The “So what?” test is simple and applies to all. Read what you’ve written in your CV and after every line ask, “So what?”

For example:

“I was head of sales for five years.”

So what?

We don’t know if you were good or bad in that role. It’s much better to talk about the benefits and results of your actions. Instead write something like this:

“I increased sales year on year by 32%, enabling the business to expand the product range and reach new customers.”

So what?

So now we can see how effective you were at sales and have results to back it up. Instantly, the recruiter has a way to measure your success see the benefit of your work.

Apply this “so what?” question to every line of your cover letter and CV and see if you can answer it with specific skills, achievements, experience and measurable results. Numbers are good too - the size of the budget you managed, the performance against targets - it’s an easy way to understand what you’ve achieved in previous roles.

When you do this you see the CV is less about you and more about what you offer to the company. That’s much more of a delight for us recruiters to read!

Written by Jason Connolly