- This topic has 1 reply, 1 voice, and was last updated 9 years, 8 months ago by Anonymous.
October 16, 2013 at 8:55 am #33523Learnist CareersParticipant
Your CV is the first contact you make with a potential employer. Before they even see your face, they learn information about you from your CV. We use it to sell ourselves and our skills, to make us stand out from the crowd, and to try and convince the recruiting team that they need to meet you as soon as possible.
Your CV can be tailored for various purposes, but there are some things that should be included or improved no matter what job you are going in for. We often forget about our CV until the last minute, so here are some tips to help you improve it now and save time, effort and rejection.
#1 Fail to prepare, prepare to fail.
An old saying but as true as ever, especially when it comes to your CV. You should always have an up-to-date CV available to you so that if you spot a job, you don’t have to rush off a poorly written document to send to them. Have the basics in place, and then all you have to do is add in any tinkering or tweaking to make the CV specific to the job you are interested in, minimising your work.
#2 Check, double check, triple check.
It sounds totally basic and everyone will tell you to do it, but it is absolutely essential that you proofread your CV for grammar, spelling, punctuation and flow. Your CV should contain no errors whatsoever. If you do not feel comfortable doing this yourself, ask a friend, a parent, or someone you trust to review it. A CV riddled with errors will be ignored.
#3 Send the right version, first time.
Having multiple versions of a CV works well so you don’t have to edit before every application, but it is a pretty good idea to double check which version you are sending to the employer. Don’t waste time sending over a CV focussing on your customer service skills if you are applying for an office job that requires no customer interaction whatsoever. Also, your CV should be in a .doc or a .pdf file if you are sending it electronically so that it can be easily picked up and opened by the employer. If they can’t open the document, they probably won’t call you to get another version sent over.
#4 Keep it easy and interesting
When recruiting, a potential employer could have hundreds of applications to go through, perhaps even more, so don’t bore them. Keep it in a clear font (nothing too frilly that requires a microscope to translate it) and go for black font. Try not to be too ‘text-heavy’ too. Use bullet points for short lists, small blocks of well written texts, and steer clear of tables (although they may be useful for entering exam results).
#5 Find out what they are looking for – and exploit it
If you can get your hands on the criteria that the recruiters will be sticking to when hunting for you, you can tailor your CV to those points to make it easier for them to see just how well fitted you are for the job. Just like marking an exam, if you already have the official answers, you can ‘copy’ then into your CV, selecting relevant phrases, points from your own experience and your skills to emphasise how great you are.
#6 Profile away!
Using a profile or personal statement at the beginning of your CV can work to your advantage, giving an insight into your personality, demonstrating your creativity, and it gives you a bit of free text to express yourself. Don’t use clichés, avoid any ‘buzzwords’ where possible, and stick to words that you are able to use in regular conversation. After all, you don’t want to write like you read a thesaurus. Oh, and don’t slap your photo on unless you are an actor or model.
#7 Don’t drivel on and keep going about nothing in particular because it gets very very boring and nobody will really care and…
Get my point? Keep the information you provide short, covering no more than 2 A4 sheets. Only discuss important things. Give more detail on relevant and recent qualifications, and summarise less relevant ones (for example, GCSE’s 12 passes A*-D 2004).
#8 Make them ask for references
Nobody seeks references before they have met you, and it’s pretty easy to hand them over at the interview. Simply mention ‘references available upon request’ at the bottom of your CV and leave it there. Save the valuable space for something much more important.
#9 Life is a lesson we keep on learning…
Life experience is just as valuable as education in many circumstances. In daily life, we budget, manage projects, communicate, organise and use so many other skills without even realising it. Also, many of us as part of our career take part in some form of CPD. If this is relevant, get it in there! Show just how fantastic you really are, and more importantly, that you can keep up with everything, including the numerous changes in your industry. If you have been out of work, you need to prove that you have been striving to keep ‘in’ with what’s been going on, and CPD can help with this.
#10 Get feedback
Ask your friends, family, and even people you have been interviewed by what they think your strengths and weaknesses are/were. If you get rejected, find out why so you can do that thing differently next time. Clearly something about you or your CV was interesting, so find out what and use it to your advantage.
#11 Share the love
Share the knowledge you gain from using your CV. If you think something you have done could benefit others, get it online in a forum or on a website so others can see and use your advice.
Now, all you have to do is make the changes, and these changes could change your life for the better. Who thought so much could rest on a couple of 80gsm A4 paper?
Photo by: Rennett StoweJanuary 16, 2014 at 5:34 pm #36070AnonymousGuest
I would say that your CV should never be the same for more than a short space of time. I know some people who still send the same document as they did when they were teenagers, and they just add a few bits onto the end. But this will not work; you need to ensure that the document reflects who you are right at this moment in time.
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