Your CV is vital in trying to get you a new job. Your CV is the first impression which the company will receive about you; therefore, you need to make sure you stand out to give yourself the best chance of being shortlisted. It is important that your CV demonstrates your unique blend of skills gained at work and outside work. Get it right and you could be on your way to landing an interview for your dream job.
- It is important to keep it simple. Your layout shouldn’t be too fancy as this can make it harder to absorb the information. Simple formats can often be best, as you want to keep the reader engaged for as long as possible and see your qualities as a candidate. Try and keep it to 2 sides of A4 if possible, employers don’t want to sift through loads of text to get to the good stuff.
- Don’t be generic! It is important to tailor your CV to your industry because the employer will be more engaged when reading a CV which they can relate to. This lets the employer know that you are serious about the role and have not sent your CV out to loads of companies. Where possible research the company as much as possible as this shows them you are serious about the role and gives a great impression.
- Spell check! Seems obvious, however, loads of CV’s have grammatical / spelling errors which stand out and give a bad impression. Employers DO look for mistakes on CVs so it important you check and check again that there are no silly errors.
- It is crucial to keep updating your CV as you go through your career. It is recommended every year as a minimum you take time to update your CV with specific achievements or experience you may have gained which you feel is applicable. Remove some of the less relevant older data to make room for newer unique selling points. Sending an outdated CV would look highly unprofessional and put you on the back foot immediately in terms of showcasing yourself. Remember you get one chance to make a positive impression and to stand out from the crowd.
- Don’t leave gaps. Leaving gaps on your CV will immediately make the employer suspicious and they wont always give you the benefit of the doubt. If you have been out of work for a prolonged time, then try and put a brief explanation of what you were doing whilst in-between jobs. You’re better off covering it now in your CV rather than some unexpected questions being sprung on you at an interview which may catch you off guard. It always helps to include reasons why you left jobs and is generally considered positive where these were for career progression.
- Have your contact information easily available (email, mobile number and address) and kept up to date. Otherwise recruiters/ potential new employers can’t get hold of you. You don’t want to be waiting for your phone to ring, especially annoying if the recruiter is calling the wrong number!
- If you are applying for a sales-based role then it is important to include as many sales figures as possible. These can help boost your chances of getting through to the interview stage because it showcases your proven past performance. You want to provide them with as much relevant information as possible, so they can relate the data to their business as well.
- Finally, when breaking down previous employment, try to use bullet points when describing duties or achievements as oppose to paragraphing. By using your bullet points you’re breaking up information; making it easier to read and more engaging.