Writing a CV can be one of the most daunting things for job seekers of all experience levels.
It is also thought that many employers spend less than one-minute scanning a CV before putting it in the yes or no pile! So how do you demonstrate your talents in a professional and stand out CV? We’ve compiled some tips to help you do just that.
Keep it simple
By this, we mean the format and the font type. You want your potential employer to be focussing on the content rather than trying to figure out what something says because it is in a jazzy font. The layout should be in chronological order starting with your most current job and working backwards. Separate each category and make sure it is easy to read.
While it is important to include your key skills and give an overview of your previous and present roles and responsibilities, they don’t need to know your life story. A CV should be no longer than two sides of A4 so when writing it, consider what are the most important things you want to get across? Remember to give examples of a time when you have demonstrated a skill to back up what you are saying.
Always be honest
Your aim when writing your CV is to be invited to interview and get the job you are applying for. This means that if you have lied about certain qualifications or experience it is very likely you will get caught out if you reach the next stage of the recruitment process. This can be highly embarrassing and will only result in one outcome – not getting the job and being back at the beginning of your job search.
Ensure it is up-to-date
There is no point in even sending an outdated CV to a future employer as it will likely be instantly dismissed. It is always worthwhile keeping your CV up-to-date when you achieve something in your role as you never know what’s around the corner. This will also prevent you from forgetting anything in the long term and will ensure you are highlighting all the positive and unique things you have done.
Tailor it to the job you are applying for
Most roles, even within the same industry will have different elements and responsibilities so applying with a generic CV will look lazy and employers are likely to think you are not enthusiastic about their role. Use the job description as the base to tailoring your CV by referencing specific parts of it. For example; one job may be more sales focussed so give examples of when you’ve worked in a sales environment. The closer your skills match the job description, the closer you are to getting the job!
Don’t leave any gaps
Try to ensure that you have a clear pathway of your job history. Any unexplained gaps of unemployment will raise a red flag to employers and if you get through to the interview stage, will need to be addressed. It is best to be totally honest if you have been out of work but try to put a positive spin on it. For example: maybe you did some volunteering work during this time or carried out a course to widen your skills, give an indication of how you spent this time.
Check, check and check again
An incorrect spelling or grammar mistake on a CV will jump out to employers for all the wrong reasons. Remember, this is the first impression they will get of you so spend extra time checking that everything is perfect.
Get a second (or third) opinion
It is always best to get someone else to check over your CV as this will reduce the chances of there being any silly mistakes as well as ensuring it is polished and includes all the relevant information. The team at Vibe Recruit are always willing to provide CV checks and advice for our candidates meaning they get the benefit of a professional opinion.
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