7 Tips For CV Success
We’ve all been there, spending countless hours searching for that ideal job. However, this can be a waste of precious time if, for example, your CV is outdated or doesn’t match the job your applying for. This will lead to recruiters rejecting your CV and leave you deflated and demotivated. After all, recruiters spend an average of 5-7 seconds viewing your CV, so it’s vital that you make an instant impact that captures their attention.
Here are some guidelines for writing your CV, which if followed correctly, will get you on the right track and feeling more confident when completing your next job application.
1. Your Format is your Framework
When first approaching your CV, it is crucial to structure your content appropriately. For example, when listing your work experience and education it is imperative they are in reverse chronological order, with the most recent starting first – so recruiters can see your most recent experience at a glance. When stating your responsibilities per job, it is advisable to use bullet points, ensuring it is easy to read. Your CV should be no more than two pages in length; it is no surprise that when describing your experience, it is best to keep it concise.
2. Stay Memorable
At the start of your CV, just below your contact details, there should be a short paragraph for your personal statement. It is here that you have a chance to stand out by introducing yourself, why you are the right candidate, what you are looking for professionally and of course don’t forget to show your enthusiasm. This is your opportunity to spark the recruiter’s interest and encourage them to read the rest of your CV.
3.Honesty Is The Best Policy
It may not come as surprise that some candidates choose to be untruthful about their professional experience to gain an interview. But there’s really no point gaining a job that you are not fully qualified to fulfill! Also, be clear about dates, including the month and year of starting and finishing. It’s fine to have gaps in your work experience, but explain what you have achieved in those gap periods. If there are gaps in your knowledge, be honest – turn your weaknesses into strengths, focus on what you can bring and be upfront about what experience and skills you would like to improve.
4. Keep It Relevant
It is extremely important to make your CV as relevant as possible to the job you are applying for. Every job has different specifications, so make sure you tailor your CV accordingly. For example - highlighting key work achievements that match the job description will increase your chances of getting shortlisted by a recruiter. Best practices to consider:
- Remove irrelevant roles
- Create multiple CV’s to match a variety of roles within your field
- Include industry keywords when listing your top skills at the top of your CV
5. Achievements, not just Responsibilities
Many candidates just list “responsibilities”. The danger is that this just reads like the job description. It is the “achievements” within those responsibilities that are most interesting to an employer. It is not that exciting to state your responsibility was “to achieve all monthly sales targets”, much more so your achievement was “continuously beating sales targets for 15 months running, with overall target exceeded by 15% in that timeframe”. This is more likely to leave a lasting impression on the recruiter.
6. A Bit More About You
Despite your CV placing a spotlight on your professional and educational background, there is still an opportunity to share some of your personality outside of work. For example, it is worthwhile stating any sports clubs, or societies or charities you are involved with, add volunteer work, additional training and travel. By doing so, you are adding character and individuality to your CV, which will help you stand out amongst the sea of other applicants.
7.Proof Check, And Then Check Again
From just one “typo” to extensive grammatical and spelling errors, this is an instant deal breaker when your CV is being considered for a role. Don’t just proof check your CV once, but re-read it and then ask a friend or colleague to do the same. Even ask your recruitment agency if they can offer you feedback on your CV. This will demonstrate a clear attention to detail and increase your chances of being noticed by recruiters, for the right reasons.
On a final note, we decided to ask a member of our own team about their thoughts on CVs when recruiting potential candidates and this what they had to say:
Georgia French – Sales and Recruitment Consultant, TASN
“Your CV is your chance to catch an employer’s attention, showcase your achievements and establish your personal brand. Remember - longer does not necessarily mean better, you want to keep it snappy and relevant so that potential employers can see very quickly what your strengths are and what you could bring to their business.
My best advice is not to just apply for every single job you see; apply for roles you really could see yourself in and explore positions that are relevant for your career progression. Establish good relationships with one or two strong recruiters who really understand what your career goals are and where you would be best placed. Competition is strong in the market but having a strong CV and a good recruiter behind you will help establish you on shortlists, secure interviews and hopefully your next dream job!”
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