8 Steps For a Great CV
You’ve seen a job role that’s interesting and you think you’re relevant for.
You apply and are left waiting, only to receive an email 1 week later that you’ve been unsuccessful. Where did you go wrong? You have the relevant skills, but companies don’t seem to see it. What can you do to make your CV more attractive to employers?
1) Tailor it
It is easy to send the same CVs to companies, especially if it’s for the same job role. However, putting that extra effort behind your CV will be noticed. If you have the right skills and are relevant for the role, why risk that by sending them a general CV which doesn’t highlight the skills they are looking for?
2) No huge chunks
Don’t write huge chunks of text under your job descriptions, keep it concise and readable. Would you want to read a news article where the text isn’t separated with subheadings and is instead in one large chunk? Generally, recruiters will only skim your CV in the early stages – make it easy for them to see your relevant skills and experiences.
3) Put recent roles first
Often I have been confused, thinking that a candidate hasn’t worked since 1994. Put your most relevant and recent information first, so then we can see how you’ve progressed and at what stage of your career you’re at now.
4) Mention your responsibilities
It’s not enough to say that you’ve worked somewhere, and what your role was. You need to describe in more detail what you would do on a daily basis. If you explain what you did and showcase key achievements, usually through bullet points, you’ll attract an employer as they can see how well you’d match the position.
5) Check your personal details
If you change your phone number, address or email – edit your CV. Make sure that you have a professional email address; you want the company to take you seriously. A company may love your CV but if your personal details are outdated, you may never know about it.
6) Don’t get too personal
Adding your hobbies and volunteer experiences onto a CV is a great way to add a little more personality. However, don’t put information on your CV which isn’t relevant. Don’t add information such as your NI number, date of birth, religion or a photograph of yourself – it’s just not necessary and can potentially be dangerous if seen by the wrong people.
7) Keep your CV up-to-date
As soon as something important happens within your career, you should make it a habit to update your CV. You don’t want to send a potential employer a CV which hasn’t been updated for two years and doesn’t show your career progression. Additionally, don’t lie about being in a role longer than you have; an employer may catch you out when they ask for references.
8) Check for mistakes
As you are writing your CV, ensure that you are correcting your spelling and grammar. When you’ve finished your CV, check over it again – using both spellcheck and reading through it yourself. If you don’t trust your spelling and grammar, ask a family or friend. You don’t want incorrect spelling or grammar when you’ve said one of your main skills is attention to detail.