Your CV is the first thing a potential employer will be interested in when trying to establish if you’d be a suitable candidate for their vacancy.
But did you also know that it only takes eight seconds for the average employer to decide whether they want to carry on reading your CV – or throw it in the bin!
That means that your CV has to immediately grab their attention, and then keep them gripped throughout.
Read on to find out how to write a great CV that will make employers sit up and really take notice…
Make It Snappy
OK, while the person reading your CV for the first time needs to be able to find out if you have the right skills, experience, and personality for their vacancy, they also don’t need War and Peace.
Of course, there are points in your CV where you might need to offer a bit of detail and context to back up any claims you might make about your suitability for the role. But keep it snappy, eh!
Don’t use 500 words where 50 or 60 will do. They’ll get the point if you make it clear enough. Don’t be afraid to use numbers and statistics that succinctly prove you’ve got the chops – they’ll leap out a reader a lot more than big, waffling paragraphs that never quite go anywhere.
Remember that your CV might be one of about 100 or more that they need to plough through, so don’t put them off with a scary surfeit of words.
As a general guide, try to keep your CV to the equivalent of two sides of A4 paper.
Keep It Relevant
Some of us may have very targeted job searches; others may not.
Either way, it’s a very good idea to keep a general template CV on your computer that you can easily adapt and tailor to specific jobs you want to go for.
Again, remember that the potential employer – or the recruitment agency vetting candidates on their behalf – might well have a massive load of CVs to get through. So, if they can’t immediately see that you have the skills and experience they’re looking for, plop, that’s your CV down the loo (not literally – that would be a plumbing and environmental nightmare!).
Make those technical skills and that proven experience stand out. Make sure they can easily see relevant qualifications.
And adapt the tone of your tailored CV to the kind of job you’re going for and the company you’re trying to impress. Don’t be all drab and super-sensible if it’s for a leading-edge, hip young company looking for disruptive cool cats. But, equally, don’t be too zany and irreverent if you’re trying to secure a job with a more straitlaced employer.
That Vital Personal Statement
Imagine that the person reading yours already has a number of CVs from other candidates claiming to have the skills and experience the vacancy requires. How are you going to make yours stand out?
With a great personal statement, that’s how.
This isn’t the section where you tell the employer about how you like going for long walks in the country with your BAE, listening to Harry Styles or playing five-a-side in your spare time. No, leave that to the end (if they get that far).
Your personal statement is your opportunity – early on in your CV – to show your understanding of the role that’s been advertised, and how your skills and experience fit into it.
It’s where you need to offer up highly relevant examples of previous experience. Or, if you don’t have that direct experience, how the skills and knowledge you’ve acquired will help you nail the requirements the recruiter has listed in the job description.
Why’s There A Gap In Your CV?
Some of us are going to have gaps in our CVs. Periods of ill health or where we’ve been out of work for one reason or another.
That’s OK. There’s no shame in it, especially during periods of national or regional economic downturn.
But the last thing you want to do is try to cover it up. Because you will look dishonest if the potential employer sees through it. And then it’s ‘game over’ for as far as that employer is concerned.
Keep it honest in your CV. Maybe offer a brief note to explain why those gaps are there. And perhaps have a clear and honest story to hand if the recruitment agency handling the vacancy or the eventual interviewer inquires about it.
Keep Your CV Up-To-Date
We all know people that keep that same old, dusty CV on their desktop and whack it through the usual online channels whenever they see a job they fancy advertised.
And they wonder why they don’t hear back…?
Even if you haven’t worked for a while or been in the same job for ages, you need to keep refreshing that CV and making sure that it feels current.
If the person reviewing CVs thinks that the CV looks old and out-of-date, they’ll think the applicant is lazy and disregard them.
Proofread Your CV
Alright, so employers can’t expect us all to be Shakespeare.
And, let’s be honest: some roles don’t actually require the people doing them to have much in the way of literary skills.
But please, please – for your own sake – make sure that there aren’t any glaring grammatical or spelling errors in your CV!
Spelling and grammar is a constant battle for a sizable proportion of our population. And we could easily reel off a list of extremely successful business people who are very open about the fact that they struggle with spelling and grammar due to dyslexia and other difficulties.
The fact of the matter, though, is that employers still expect CVs to be spotless.
And, with spelling and grammar technology being what it is now, you should have the tools at your disposal to help you keep mistakes to a minimum.
Also, if you’re someone that struggles with these obstacles, get someone with great attention to detail to proofread your CV before you send it as part of a job application.
Ask For Expert Help!
Recruitrite is one of the leading recruitment agencies in the North of England. And we’re very much here to help jobseekers find and secure the jobs that they’re really after.
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But if you would like our hands-on advice from recruitment experts on how to write a sparkling CV that gets results, please do give us a call on 01325 734 858 or ping us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
And while you’re here, why not take a look at the great vacancies we currently have on offer?!