Your CV is a vital tool in the job search process. This is your first chance to impress a potential employer by providing details that underline your suitability for the role. On average, recruiters only take eight seconds to decide whether or not to keep a CV, so you need to be smart.
Our top five tips will give your CV the maximum impact:
1. Be concise
Recruiters are often faced with piles of CVs and don’t have the time or patience to flip through a rambling document. Remember that your CV is just the first step, a way to set foot in the door, so keep it punchy. Make no more than two sides of the A4 sheet and save the actual details for your interview.
2. Personalize your CV
Take the time to tailor your CV for each individual role you are applying for. Search for the company and use the job posting to gauge what an employee is looking for. Connect your skills and experiences to the requirements of the role. Likewise, if you are registering your CV with a job site database, look at the type of job on the site and the employers they advertise and rework your CV accordingly.
3. Do not leave empty spaces
The gaps invite the recruiter to guess what you were up to, so instead of letting them make their own assumptions, give them the details. Even in time without work, you can develop soft skills such as communication, teamwork or project management. You should regularly update your CV, regardless of whether you are actively looking for work, to avoid having to remember distant points in your career.
4. Make sure it is error free
One of the easiest ways for recruiters to take out weaker CVs is to scan them for errors. If you don’t check your CV for spelling and basic grammar errors, you are bracing yourself for a fall at the first hurdle. Most errors can be eliminated by using your PC’s spell checker, but you should also ask someone else to read your CV and ask that person for an opinion.
5. Tell the truth
It is one thing to highlight the positives of your CV, but blatant lies is a bad idea. It is very likely that you will be caught off guard and your application rejected. Many companies check the facts, such as qualifications, provided by candidates. And a good interviewer will soon spot any inconsistencies in your story, even if it relates to your recreational activities. It would be extremely embarrassing to be caught off guard by an interviewer who is halfway through your hobby.
You should have your CV reviewed before sending it to employers. Ask a family member or friend to take a look at your writing just to make sure your CV is free of spelling and grammar errors. Recruiters will automatically fail any CVs that contain errors on them from systems called Applicant Tracking Systems, so your application may not even reach human eyes if you’re not careful.
Your CV shouldn’t be too long as no one will read it apart from cars. A longer CV means you are more likely to make spelling or grammatical errors. Your work experience and personal profile are more important than anything else unless you are a recent graduate, so education is also important.
The sleek design means nothing to employers, so don’t waste time creating a CV with many colors, shapes, or whatever else to make it look good.
Write a simple one-page CV. Not rocket science, right?