One of the frustrations of many candidates when they are looking for a new job, is the quality of their CV. The main purpose of a CV is to grab the attention of recruiters, not to leave you feeling like its constantly going down a black hole. If you have only recently started job hunting and your CV is out-of-date, or you just want to make some improvements, there are some ways you can change it from average to great!
Recruiters can receive hundreds of CV’s every day, so it is important that yours stands out from the crowd. Your CV is the first thing a recruiter or hiring manager will see, so it is vital that it creates a great first impression. These are some ways to make your CV stand out to help you get that all-important first interview.
Keep it Brief
Recruiters simply don’t have the time to read through piles of CV’s with 5/6 pages each. They may even have a tendency to ignore some CV’s which are too long; especially if they need to retrieve the key information. CV’s should be a maximum of three pages, two is ideal. Your CV should have a maximum of 10 years’ experience on it, and if you still can’t contain it to three pages, just put company, job titles and dates for the later roles, rather than key duties.
Don’t forget to place a summary or profile at the start of your CV. This is the first thing the recruiter will see on your CV, so this is the place to profile vital information about your skills and experience. Summarise your experience and key strengths here, as well as your education and what you’re ideally looking for in your next role.
Directly under your summary is a good place to put a list of your key skills, with a brief description. For example, you may put ‘leadership’ as one of your key skills and an example of where you show this skill, i.e. leading a team, leading a project. The key skills section is a good place to put relevant keywords. Recruiters often put CV’s through programmes which select only those with relevant keywords from the job spec. You might have the best CV, but if you fail to incorporate keywords, it may never be seen!
Spelling and Grammar
Make sure you check (and double check) your CV for any potential spelling or grammatical errors. Recruiters will never look too favourably on a CV which contains errors, especially if you are applying for a job where you are writing documents. If in doubt, run a spell check through it and ask someone you know to give it a quick look over.
It can be tempting to embellish a bit on your CV, but make sure you don’t do this to the point where you could easily get caught out. Always be honest about the dates and places you have worked, as you could lose your job if your employer finds out these are incorrect. If the job spec says that you need experience in Instagram for example, and you are about to embark in a course to get these skills, a little embellishing isn’t much of an issue as you’ll have the skills by the time it comes to starting the job.
When you have your CV ready, don’t forget to take a look at all the job opportunities we have available at Qualified Place. You can also create your own profile and let the jobs find you!
We’d also love to hear your comments on this topic or why not share it on your social media to give other candidates some tips about their CV!