The 2 Things More Important Than Your CV

By James Mills, Associate Partner & Mentorship Coach, Lighthouse International

What?!? There's something more important than your CV? Given the amount of attention that's placed on the CV, the title of this article may be a bit of a shock! However, whatever you are looking to do in your career, there are two things that are more important. It doesn't matter if you are looking for your first job, hoping to change careers, pushing for a pay rise, pursuing a promotion, wanting to break into the boardroom or indeed even starting your own business. In fact, the bigger your career goals are, the less important your CV becomes and the more important these two things are. So what are they?


“Life is not divided into semesters. You don’t get summers off, and very few employers are interested in helping you. Find yourself.”

- Bill Gates

Pretty obvious, right? A CV may get you an interview at best, but it will NEVER get you a job, a promotion or a payrise - and it definitely won't start a business if that's what you eventually want! If we value our CV more than seeing the potential in ourselves and others, then we will struggle to progress in the way that we want.

If we think for a moment about the reality of a job interview, let alone actually doing the job... Do we feel fit, healthy and energised through the day? Are we able to keep calm under pressure? Do we work well with others? Can we think clearly and creatively? How clear are we on our long-term career goals? In short, are we aware of our gaps and working hard to close them?

To see things from the other side, here is what legends like Angela Ahrendts and Richard Branson look for in the people they hire.

Your Network 

“One of the challenges in networking is everybody thinks it's making cold calls to strangers. Actually, it's the people who already have strong trust relationships with you, who know you're dedicated, smart, a team player, who can help you.”

- Reid Hoffman, Co-Founder & Executive Chairman of LinkedIn

Around 80% of job opportunities aren't advertised: if we don't have enough of the right career opportunities, then we simply don't have the right network! We could have thousands of social media connections, but if none of these people really know what we're about and what we're looking for, then we might feel lost in the search for opportunities - often taking the first thing we are offered out of necessity, rather than creating opportunities in line with our long-term career plans.

There are of course many reasons that we haven't got around to building our network, but this has been foundational to the success of legends like Serena Williams, Henry Ford, Steve Jobs and J.K. Rowling.

If you're looking for more networking inspiration, then here are some words of wisdom from master networkers Jon Levy and Arianna Huffington.

Where to Start?

It can be overwhelming when there is so much to consider. When building a career it's crucial to look at your strengths and your weaknesses, so as a starting point you could answer these 5 questions to get your career back on track or get in touch with your Lighthouse Introducer below.

Click here to learn more about identifying your career strengths and weaknesses through a Lighthouse Career Gap Assessment...

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