The amount of horrible CV’s that I come across every single day, to be blunt – is SCARY! Spelling errors, incorrect dates, poor language, bad grammar. All of it completely avoidable.
We are taught from the final years of school, all the way through university and college – how important our CV’s are in the process of finding a job. In most cases, it is our only shot.
SO, I have put together a couple of tips that might help those new to the workforce in compiling a standout CV, and that will remind those who haven’t updated their CV in a while to check it - resulting in a call-back from companies and recruiters alike.
What are the most important aspects of your CV?
Customising your CV is essential. Non-negotiable. Recruiters can tell when a CV is standard and hasn’t been customised, as it will include information that is redundant for the job in question.
It can be very difficult at times to say all that you would like to say in your CV, so wasting space will harm your application – be super critical of what does and does not need to be included.
Added value is so important. It’s great to list your responsibilities – they make up the crux of your skillset and role. What is even more important, are your achievements. What have you done that goes above and beyond what you are paid to do? A lot of recruiters and talent acquisition partners go directly to this section in your CV.
Do not leave gaps in your CV. If you took a year out, carried out an interim assignment, or travelled for six months, SAY SO. If you do include gaps, potential employers can suspect the worst.
Try to stand out from the crowd. Showing any evidence of work experience and skills developed through extracurricular activities will always give you an extra edge in a pile of CVs from similarly qualified applicants. Charity work, further training and awards are always of interest.
Ensure your CV has no spelling errors. This is the basic stuff, but you would be shocked, even mortified at the number of people who have basic errors in their CV. More than likely it will be put in the bin straight away, even if it is an honest error.
What value are internships on your CV?
Depending on the field you’re looking to get into, but generally, I would say that internships are only going to add value to your application. Ideally, these internships will be directly related to the job you’re looking to get into, but don’t despair if not.
Some internships are really hard to get (I’m sure everyone wants to go and do an internship at Google or Facebook but places are hard to come by), so if you can translate the experience you get in other intern roles to the permanent job you’re applying for, it should still add value.
Don’t apply for every single job you see.
This is hugely important. Most business’ these days have very good applicant tracking systems, they can see if you are a serial applier, and not relevant to the job type. Most recruiters or HR teams are less likely to look at your profile if they can see you apply for job types that are not suited to you.
If you are applying for various job types, tailor your CV to the job you’re applying for. It’s obvious when the generic CV comes through. If you don’t get a reply, call the company. Sometimes companies like to see the tenacity and confidence that this shows.
Even better, before you apply – use the tools at your fingertips! LinkedIn is a fantastic tool to see if you know someone in the company you’re applying to and if they’ll introduce you to someone involved in the recruitment process – then you have a direct line in if you don’t get a response!
Even if you think your CV is absolutely banging, and perfect in content and grammar, perhaps go back now and have a quick look, just to make sure you are representing yourself in the strongest way possible.
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