Preparing your CV is an important stage in the job hunting process and one which is critical to your success of finding a new job – this is one of the main stages at which we see people fail. While your skills, work experience and academic credentials are very important, if they are not communicated in the right way, it can turn people off before they get a chance to read about how wonderful you are.
Why are CVs so important?
Your CV is the single most important tool that you have to impress your potential employer, assuming they don’t know you. Get your CV right,and you’ll be on your way to securing the job of your dreams. Get it wrong, and no matter how perfect you are for the role, it will be thrown in the bin.
Recruiters and hiring managers receive 100s of applications each week and can only spend limited time reviewing each one. In those initial moments, they will make a judgement about whether they think you are someone who has the right experience and skills for the position(s) they are recruiting for. Making the right information accessible is vital.
So, what are the main things to watch out for?
- Ensure your CV is clearly formatted without distracting images/illustrations or wacky designs/fonts.
- Keep it to 2 pages – we know this is old advice, but we still receive CVs which are 5+ pages long.
- Put a short summary at the beginning of your CV to capture your skills & experience relevant to the role you are applying for.
- Use short, sharp bullet points and not long sentences/paragraphs of text which no one is going to read.
- Avoid generic, meaningless jargon to describe yourself like ‘innovative’, ‘strategic’, ‘entrepreneurial’. Instead use facts about your experience to summarise what you have done and why you are right for the role.