You scan the papers, trawl the web and your inbox pings with new mail from prospective employment companies. Finally, you see a job that catches your eye. Reading over the criteria you’re a good match and you decide to send in your CV. However, what is it that makes you stand out from the tens of other applicants doing exactly the same as you?
Your CV is your first introduction to your potential new boss. This document can be the decider on whether you will be called in for an interview or whether you receive the dreaded ‘unfortunately on this occasion you have not been successful’ email. If you keep in mind these following 5 tips when looking over your CV, you will stand out and grab the attention of the decision makers.
1. Be creative with design layout, but simple with font
Searching the web, you will find various templates you can use to jazz up your CV. Using symbols or infographics can add an extra element that will show your creative skills and potential. Keep it simple, keep it stylish and take care not to over complicate it. A prospective boss may be impressed with your initiative but if they can’t find or read the relative information they are looking for, it will all be worthless.
2. Keep your CV updated and connect to LinkedIn
Keeping your information up to date is important. If you have completed any new qualifications, volunteer work or job experiences then make sure your current CV reflects this. If you need to send a CV off quickly, you want to know that it holds all the information that it needs to. Make sure you put a link to your LinkedIn profile too. This will show your potential employer that you are efficient digitally as well as on paper.
3. Read the criteria and tweak accordingly
No two jobs or companies are the same. Make sure you take the time to read what exactly they are looking for out of a candidate and tweak your CV accordingly. If you are too generic, it will show that you have not really considered the post or seem disinterested. Make sure to mirror vocabulary that is used in the job description to better fit the role advertised.
4. ‘I like to read and hill walk…’ Add only relevant information
CVs should generally be no longer than two pages long. If it is more than this make sure that you cut it down by adding only qualifications, job histories and hobbies that are linked to the job role. Whoever is reading your CV only wants to see how your overall skills will fit with their organisations, they do not care about your after-school jobs or paper-rounds.
5. Proofread, proofread and proofread again
There is nothing more off-putting to potential employers than bad grammar and spelling mistakes. Make sure you read and re-read your CV before you send it to anyone. Use spell checks and apps like grammarly.com to make sure all the spelling is correct and that your CV reads well to give the best possible impression.
Whilst following these steps will not automatically secure you an interview, it will put you in good stead as you continue to grow your knowledge and work experience and hopefully, one day lead you to your dream career.