Don’t use job description to describe your job
For SAP Consultant, the CV is not about Number of Pages or Specific Format, in current times
Each time you write your CV, you check on the internet what’s the best way to present your skills, you gained through professional qualifications and experience, to your potential employer. The typical advice given to a candidate is mostly about its length and format. For a SAP Professional, however, it’s challenging to limit the number of pages or staying to a particular format while describing his/her experience as anyone with two or three projects on credit has a lot (and many ways) to tell to impress his/her prospective hiring manager.
Consultants work in different capacities and as such gain different experience, they have to sell their uniqueness
I’m not (and was never) in capacity to hire, but have reviewed number of SAP profiles to support the hiring decisions and as such have learned what matters most when it comes to describe previous work experience. The Consultants work in different capacities and as such have different ways to demonstrate what they did in past and how it’s relevant to the needs of the business requiring such expertise. Working directly with a customer organization is different than working with a system integrator. Similarly employed by a boutique consulting firm or on a body shopping model, the Consultants have different experiences and expertise which they could ‘sell’ on their profiles.
Presenting your skills (and experience) differently than other Consultants
If you want your CV to stand-out from a long list of people presenting similar skillset as yours, you have to do something different. What do you have to do and how is the topic of my current discussion which may help you. However, before we discuss it further, let’s first compare your current CV with the new one, which you would like to write after reading this.
Your Employer is looking for Skills which helped other companies and which can help them
You know for sure your future employer is not interested in you as a person. His/her interest is in the skills you bring and which he/she needs. When that employer mentions the requirements, they are usually very vague and generic, for instance, requiring a SAP (module) Consultant with certain number of years of experience or some qualifications.
Now, you being an experienced and qualified professional in your area of expertise definitely see yourself as a perfect match to such requirement. You, therefore, forward your CV. While you are doing so, there are many others who think and do the same.
Typical CVs of SAP Solution and Support Consultants do not show what employers look for
To employer, who now has literally hundreds of CVs to review, it’s difficult to decide which Consultant from the list could help him/her when all have mentioned something like below:
- Worked at full life-cycle, from Project Planning & Business Blueprinting to Realization & Final Preparation and Go Live at so and so project as a SAP <<Module>> Solution Consultant.
- Providing Technical Support including day-to-day issue resolution, finding root-causes of problems, handling change requests, and addressing new requirements as a SAP <<Module>> Support Consultant.
Such or similar type of job descriptions usually describe you did and what others did, hence, it’s hard to know which consultant actually delivered specific value to business. In this case, the person in-charge of reviewing profiles do not see any difference except the Employer Name and Employment Period. What s/he sees is either you were engaged at a Project or were providing Technical Support.
You can help your to-be employer in reviewing and shortlisting your CV
Here it’s your job to help your to-be employer to understand how you are different than the crowd and that you are the one who can actually help him/her in achieving the business objectives by deploying technology. How you do that is by specifying your past experience differently. You have to tell your story.
SAP Success Stories are a great example of work done, explore the anatomy
If you look at the Success Stories or Customer References used by SAP and its Partners, you may notice that they tell their contributions in a way which help their audience (i.e. prospective customer) in judging whether or not the solutions and services provided to another customer could help the one looking at such references. The main points mentioned on such references are;
- The Customer describing its business and history,
- The Background explaining the business challenge as well as the reasons of selecting a particular solution or service,
- The Scope to tell what help was extended and what benefits were yielded with such partnership (of customer and vendor),
- The Capabilities of the solution or services to tell what it could do for new customers, while providing some sort of demo/trial.
Your experience is your reference
Now if you describe your contributions in similar fashion, you actually could tell your employer that you have supported a business in the similar industry sector as them which had a specific challenge and you resolved it through a solution while applying your certain skills, thus helping them to take full advantage of solution’s capabilities. Now how to do it is simple and could be achieved with following guidelines:
- Figure-out the context in which the organization (where you worked) implemented SAP,
- Look for the pain-point(s) which your workplace had and which were the triggering point for such implementation,
- Analyze the solutions and services which were adopted to address business challenges,
- Put yourself in picture and see where you were placed in overall situation,
- Now compile all of your contributions, group them in form of achievements, and
- Mention what did you do exactly and how your effort counted in overall delivery.
If you follow such approach you could actually convey a message that you are not only a business-focused and solution-specialized person but also an individual who understands that corporate objectives are achieved through mutual effort of a team and not just by an individual. And then you don’t need to just copy the job description to describe your job.
Last but not least
The above guidelines could be applied to CV to have better chances of getting the hiring manager’s attention. The first step i.e. to be found on internet, still follows the same old-mechanism where you mention every minute detail with keywords to ensure you’re found in a random search. The LinkedIn is one of those mediums, to learn how to maintain your LinkedIn profile, better, read LinkedIn Profile of a SAP Consultant.
Please leave your comments, if you have any, and share it with Consultants in your circle to present their abilities better to the hiring managers.