You know the feeling. You have seen your dream job advertised and feel the excitement rising. Not only do you know that you are perfectly skilled and qualified and a great match for the job description but this post could turn your life around. There’s just one problem; you know that your CV is not up to scratch and without a stand out CV, you have little chance of even being selected for an interview.
Help is at hand
But you can turn things around. By working on your CV in the right way, you can get ahead of the crowd and the other job seekers, all vying for the same role. By taking note of our CV advice, you can get your CV noticed. It’s not that hard once you know the rules to follow. Simply focus on your experience and skills and tailor them to match the criteria of the job you are applying for.
Our CV top tips
Summary – make it easy for the interviewer by placing a summary paragraph at the very beginning of your CV. This should tell them all about you in a nutshell, including your personality, skills, experience and goals for the future. This alone can get your CV selected and the employer will love the fact that they don’t have to read through pages of information (unless they want to).
Presentation – size should be A4 and no more than two pages. Don’t fill the paper to overflowing with text but keep it concise and clear with a professional font such as Calibri or Arial, size 11 or 12. If more than one sheet, staple together to prevent the loss of additional pages.
Refer to the job description – read this through several times and make notes of how you fit the bill. Highlight the areas that you can satisfy easily. Where your skills or experience are not so strong, cleverly adapt the skills you do have. You know that you could do a great job if awarded this position so you need to convey this.
Tailor the CV to fit the position – if this is your dream job, it’s worth tailoring your CV to match. Sending off a generic version just won’t bring the results that you need. Employers can tell if you have printed off a general version and won’t be impressed that you haven’t tailored it to suit the role they are looking to fill. This will hint at laziness so it is very worth adapting the content to match the details of the position.
Focus on your skills – this includes everything that you are good at such as communication, IT, team working, creativity, problem-solving or speaking several languages etc. Skills don’t only come from a working environment so think out of the box and look at the whole of your life. You might be surprised to find that you have talents that you haven’t previously thought of.
Don’t forget other activities – hobbies and social pursuits can help tell the interviewer more about your personality and other things that you excel at or have an interest in. Try to show how they might reflect on the role you are applying for. If you like to paint or play an instrument, show how this creativity adds to your output at work if you have to use your imagination in some way. Don’t put in mundane things like watching TV or going to the cinema but focus on making yourself stand out from the crowd. Use positive language and indicate what you can achieve.
References – many people don’t include references but this is a good idea. Okay, the interviewer may still ask for others but you can give them a glimpse of how previous employers have valued you and why. Graduates can use tutors to vouch for their effectiveness.
Keep it updated – review your CV regularly and add in any new experiences or accomplishments. Work that you’ve carried out on new projects, volunteering or achievements in your personal life can make a great impression.
Grammar and spellcheck – this may sound obvious but people have been known to send in CVs with glaring errors where they have misspelt words, copied and pasted text badly or even used the wrong grammar. Interviewers will cast a glance over your CV to evaluate it and if these types of errors jump out at them, you are in the bin.
Education and qualifications – list this above your work-related experience as it is a great achievement. The reader will also see immediately whether you fulfil the educational requirements to do the job.
And there we have it. Take note of these ten tips and at least your CV will get a look in. When competition for jobs is so rife, you need to make sure that you give yourself a fair chance. There is only one person that can do what is required to make the grade and that person is you. If you are struggling to put the basics of a CV together, get a professional to do it for you or use one of the many templates available online. You will also find plenty of free advice on our Blog page. Once the CV is ready to send, get a third party to look it over in case there are any glaring errors you have missed. Even the best proofreaders can omit seeing things that may be wrong.
Talk to us
Producing a stand out CV is essential if you are going to progress well in your chosen career. The team at CMD are always here to help so contact us if you need to talk things through or get some professional advice. You will find our team incredibly helpful, expert at what we do and ready to go the extra mile to help you secure that dream job. Pick up the phone and talk to us today.