Smarten up your business continuity CV

How boring is your CV?

When it’s time to apply for a promotion, look for a new role with another company, or seek out a new opportunity, our CVs (and their covering letters) make the first impression about us with the recruiter.   As a business continuity planner, you have lots of transferrable strategic and operational skills, so make sure they’re highlighted.

There are lots of websites advising how to brighten up and lay out your CV: we like the free advice sections on Monster, ReedProspects, and a whole raft of articles from The Guardian.  But we thought we’d take a moment to consider how we can liven up our business continuity experience to make sure it does us justice at that first impression stage.

One of the great things about business continuity is that, as well as getting a good view and great contacts across your organisation, which always bodes well if you want to apply for a different role in your own organisation, you do gain many transferrable skills.  A few examples of your transferrable skills – and we’re sure you have many more of your own to add to the list – might include:

  • Creating a BIA requires: the ability to take in large amounts of information and to quickly identify the most important elements; to negotiate priorities in often competitive environments; to muster enthusiasm and effort from staff who don’t consider what you need to them to do as one of their priorities
  • Creating business continuity strategies requires: the ability to streamline complex requirements into simple arrangements; to work with a large number of people to create joined up agreements; to research options and determine the most efficient and cost-effective for the task
  • Creating business continuity plans requires: the ability to communicate complex arrangements succinctly and effectively to a wide audience; to write and edit working documents and manuals;  to devise ways to ensure that individuals at every level of the organisation understands their role in plans and arrangements
  • Devising and facilitating business continuity exercises requires: the ability to create interactive activities to achieve team input and engagement; to determine specific aims of a session and ensure that a group delivers on them within a few hours; to think creatively and harness the imagination of others in order to improve very practical arrangements.
But if you just want to smarten up the text around your business continuity experience you may want to check out a few sites for wording that you could “recycle” to suit your own needs:
  • My Majors’ business continuity planner section is intended to provide early career advice, but it’s lists of skills and attributes might be useful. It includes lines you might otherwise forget, such as “Interpret government regulations and applicable codes to ensure compliance,“,”Analyze corporate intelligence data to identify trends, patterns, or warnings indicating threats to security of people, assets, information, or infrastructure,” and “Critical Thinking – Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.”
  • Continuity Central have a few articles that may be useful, including one that lists skills you may have, such as “Risk evaluation and control – the ability to determine the events and external surroundings that can adversely affect the organisation and its resources (facilities, technologies, etc.), the damage such events can cause and the controls needed to prevent or minimise the effects of potential loss. They will also need to provide cost-benefit analysis to justify investment in controls to mitigate risks.”  Another useful article is one about the ‘art’ of business continuity recruiting which provides an insight from a recruiter.
  • A Henry Stewart article reminds us of the strategic skills of business continuity managers.  This is particularly useful if your CV is currently full of operational detail but you need to highlight your strategic abilities.
We hope this has given you some ideas on how to smarten up your business continuity CV.  If you have links to other useful articles, or some great lines on your own CV that you’d be happy to share, please use the comments section below.
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