In the world of recruitment, getting a job is a lot like owning a shop. If you want employers to come and in and buy from you, you need to have a good window display. That’s where your CV comes in. A striking CV that’s both clear and well laid out is the best way to land that interview for your dream job. Follow our tips below to create a killer CV.
- Treat your CV like a sales brochure. What do you want it to say about you? At this point in the recruitment process, people can only judge you by your CV, so make sure it sells all your good points and gets you to the interview table. Misspelt words, comedy fonts or a messy layout don’t exactly shout ‘professional’ or ‘winner.’ Choose a striking but simple format with elegant fonts and a layout that’s clear and easy to read.
- Simple is best. Choose a simple, elegant layout and clear fonts. Save your artistic skills for the cover or header. Even then, don’t go too crazy, especially if you are applying for a very corporate role, as anything too zany could put employers off.
- Don’t send out a generic CV for every job. Instead, adapt it to mirror the job description and person requirements for every application. You can do this by re-arranging your skills in order of their importance, based on the job spec. Another trick is to use similar language or terminology to that in the job advert as this will set off bells of recognition. Where necessary, demonstrate transferrable skills to plug any gaps in direct experience you may have.
- Follow standard CV writing conventions. This will make your CV accessible and easy to follow. Structure your personal details and job history into clear, neat sections such as Skills, Employment History, and Education etc.
- Keep it brief and to the point. Some recruiters have hundreds of CV’s to read through, so make sure that yours quickly highlights why you’re perfect for the job. Bullet points and lists are a good way to be concise. Remember, you’re not writing ‘War and Peace’ – just give people the relevant facts. They can always ask for more details in the interview.
- Leave out the negatives. When in doubt, leave it out! At this stage in the recruitment process, there’s no need to get into detail about your reasons for leaving a job or why you were sacked. Save that for the interview – and even then, only mention them if you’re asked. Keep things as positive as possible at all times.
- Use hobbies or interests to provide insight into your character. Be brief but strategic here – there’s no need to go overboard though – just list a few hobbies that are relevant to the role. For example, if you’re applying for a job at a florist, then a love of gardening might be considered a bonus as it shows you have an interest in plants. Whatever you do though, don’t lie as you could get caught out.
- Don’t trip up over the basics. Attention to detail is also key – it helps to project a competent air so don’t let typos, misspelling, slang or bad grammar let you down. Be sure to proof your CV before you send it because once it’s been submitted, that’s it! As they say, you never get a second chance to create a good first impression.
- Don’t forget to add your contact details! Make it as easy as possible for people to get in touch with you, and check your email regularly so that you don’t miss out on a potential job opportunity.
In short, if you want to give yourself the competitive edge, treat CV writing a bit like a job – and don’t use cut and paste CVs – ever! A killer CV takes thought and effort. Done well, it’ll open doors and help you hit your job target every time.