When searching for a job, our CV is generally what most of us consider our most important tool. It is the first impression most potential employers will have of us, and can be what makes or breaks our job search.
However, when considering just how many CVs recruiters must search through, it is crucial to acknowledge ways in which you can get your CV to the top of the pile and stand out from other applicants in a heavily competitive process. Here’s 15 important things to consider:
1) Use a professional email address – it might have been alright when you were 15, but its doubtful that recruiters will think the same.
2) Give examples of your achievements, don’t just list responsibilities – show the employer that you can make a difference to their company, not just show up and do the minimum.
3) Avoid clichés and buzzwords – think of how many CVs a recruiter reads each day, and how many of these will repeat the same old traits.
4) Keep it simple and concise – it should be no longer than 2 pages.
5) Put the most important information on the first page – if its dull, the recruiter won’t read any further.
6) Tailor it to each job you apply for – this allows you to highlight the skills you have that are specific to your desired role, rather than keeping it general.
7) Think about how you deliver it - dropping it off by hand could make you stand out more, as the majority will be sent via email or online application.
8) Keep the format simple – font style and size should be consistent throughout, apart from perhaps headings.
9) Don’t lie about past work experience or achievements – it might be tempting to exaggerate, but it’s likely the truth will come out and you could lose the opportunity altogether
10) Use bullet points rather than lengthy paragraphs – being concise and straight to the point makes it easier for recruiters to take in the information on your CV.
11) Don’t include a photograph – unless the application specifically asks for one, this is unnecessary.
12) Spellcheck - nothing will put an employer off quite like silly spelling and grammar mistakes that could have been easily corrected.
13) Explain any gaps between jobs – it’s not a problem if you’ve took some personal time, but not disclosing why can look suspicious to employers.
14) Include a cover letter – it shows you’ve made that extra bit of effort in researching and understanding the role and company.
15) Proof read - have a fresh look the day after completing your CV or ask someone else to check it before you send it.
Your CV is the starting point for what could be the path to your dream career. Don’t rush it, as it’s undoubtedly worth putting in some time and effort and getting it completely right.
For help with your CV and job search, contact us at Stafffinders, and one of our expert consultants will provide you with a helping hand.