Before we look into the Gravitas writing tactic, you may want to check out part 1 of this series as it covers what a Personal Profile is, what it should include, how it should be structured, and I write about the first writing tactic in this series called “Expert by Association” – all of which you can find at this link:
To demonstrate Gravitas, we’ll stick with the example from part 1:
“Currently working as a Marketing Director with over 25 years’ experience in the sporting goods and retail industry, I have been strategically placed by companies such as Nike, Adidas, and Puma, to lead major marketing projects with values exceeding an average US$40 million, mostly within BRIC markets. As a sales orientated, competitive, and determined marketer, I believe my success has come from my core values in teamwork, integrity, and cultural respect. Some of my biggest achievements include producing world class campaigns for the 2014 FIFA World Cup and the 2012 London Olympics. My career goal is to continue working on global projects for a leading sports organisation”
The question I want you to think about is, what gave this Personal Profile a feeling of experience and seniority? There are keywords, descriptions, and phrases which give the reader clues about how senior and how experienced the candidate is. Keywords and phrases such as Director, global, world class, BRIC markets, even quoting large budgetry responsibilities, all of which demonstrate a sense of Gravitas. Gravitas is a way of elevating yourself. This could also be referred to as the scale of your work and experience. You’re demonstrating that you’re a top calibre candidate by highlighting your level of experience and seniority.
Let’s break this down a little further to see what this looks like. Here is a typical sentence in a profile that will commonly appear:
“I am a project manager with 10 years experience working in the retail industry.”
Now let’s add a little Gravitas. Here’s what Gravitas looks like:
“I am a global project manager with over 10 years experience working in the retail industry.”
It’s a small change but if you have global experience then make sure you include it. Now just to point out, you clearly can’t and shouldn’t say you’re a global project manager if you do not have global experience (that is, experience working for or in other countries, gaining regular experience of how different cultures work, managing global teams and/or global projects, being responsible for global budgets).
Never lie on your CV and never write something you can’t clearly describe in an interview because you will be asked about it. Adding the term “global” is just one way of demonstrating your experience and gravitas.
Here is another way:
“With over 10 years experience in Project Management I have been strategically placed by companies such as Sainsbury’s Tesco, and John Lewis, to lead global projects with values exceeding an average £5 million, mostly within BRIC and Asia Pacific markets.”
What I like about this statement is that it demonstrates real commercial awareness and points out specifically where the main global experience has been obtained. Highlighting key experiences such as the typical budgets you are responsible for, the size of the teams you have managed, and whether you have obtained experience on a global level, is a great way to capture your readers attention.
When not to use it
You should first decide on the level of Gravitas you want to place yourself at. Are you nationally experienced (i.e.
For example, if I were recruiting for an Office Manager with 3 years experience as a minimum requirement, and I come across a CV that reads “Global Office Manager…” I may initially think “oh they are clearly too experienced for this role” – Why would I do that? Quite simply because I for this position I am not looking for global experience and it was never mentioned in the job description. I also have a lot of CVs to go through, a lot of searching to do, and I am going to shortlist the most appropriate CVs first.
So if you’re going to use Gravitas then first and foremost consider the roles you want to be considered for. Do they involve international work? Do they require working with or managing different projects and people in different countries? Always always always tailor your CV and align yourself with the very roles you want to be considered for.
What other Gravitas words can you use?
Does gravitas have to be solely used for global or national experience? Not at all! Try these out to help elevate your profile:
Senior, Director, Manager, Team Leader, Project Leader
Budgetary values (budget sizes you have managed) – only use if you have been responsible for budgets!
Global, National, Regions (EMEA, EU, BRIC, LAC, JAPAC, APAC), or UK wide
Award winning, world class, industry leader or industry leading