CV Tips to help you create your best ever CV.
CV Tips – The Importance Of Content
Recruiters are generally very busy people and while it would be great to report that all CVs received are read; it is unfortunately not true and in actual fact, in the first instance many are only scanned for 8-15 seconds so it is vitally important that your CV is full of quality content, creates impact and is easy to scan through for information.
The Goals Of A CV
1. To get you an interview.
2. To be used as a base for interview questions.
Over Used Phrases & Clichés
There are not many things guaranteed in life but including overused and clichéd phrases in your CV are a sure fire way to destination dustbin.
Every phrase or word should work for you positively and every claim, evidence based with meaningless padding removed.
Stock Phrases & High Level Claims
What phrases and claims do you have on your current CV?
Rather than stating what you are (Team player, motivated, successful, problem solver) provide evidence of what you did, how you did it and how this contributed to the success of previous companies you have worked for.
Providing specific examples allows an Employer to visualise you in the role and adds interest to your skills and achievements.
How many CVs out there do you think include the same stock phrases and high level claims without any back up or examples? Answer: more than you could possibly imagine! Make yours unique to stand out from the crowd.
Create A Personal Statement That Gets Results
Also known as a Career Statement, Career Profile, Personal Profile or Biography, a Personal Statement is a professional “about me” paragraph containing approximately 50 words with a maximum of 100.
It should briefly showcase your career highlights and what you can bring to the job position you are applying for.
It would normally be placed on your CV after your contact details and it is designed to entrigue, entice and excite the Recruiter to find out more about you. In other words, the aim is to ensure they read your CV fully and then ultimately invite you for an interview.
Match Your Skills & Achievements To The Job Description
As Recruiters generally speed read to pre-select the initial CVs, it is vital that your Personal Statement highlights where your skills and experience match the needs of the organisation and job role.
Do you offer a good return on investment?
What value can you bring to the organisation?
Does it look like you can do the job and do it well?
Your Personal Statement should absolutely relate to the job you are applying for and summarise your main qualities and skills which will in turn allow the Employer to visualise how you can contribute to the success of the company.
26% of Recruiters would reject a CV if it wasn’t accompanied by a cover letter yet 100% of the Employers and Recruiters we surveyed said they would like to receive one and would favour applications with a good quality cover letter.
If sending a cover letter is almost guaranteed to increase your chances of being taken seriously and minimises the risk of ending in the reject pile substantially then it would be fair to say that it is common sense to include one whether you are asked for one or not.
Just as your Personal Statement is your window of opportunity to showcase your strengths, your Cover Letter is your primary chance to shine. It’s another chance to dangle the carrot and create enough intrigue, excitement and gut feeling so the Recruiter will take the time to read your CV.
What Should I Include On My CV?
Points to include in your CV are:
- Your contact details
- Personal statement
- Key skills if appropriate
- Work history
- Any voluntary or unpaid work
- Your secondary education, college or university and further education
- Additional skills that are relevant to the position
- Hobbies and interests if you choose to include these (tread with caution!)
How Long Should My CV Be?
The ideal length of your CV should be 1-2 pages of A4 as a general rule. No amount of CV tips will help if you make your CV too long as it is unlikely to be read fully.
Should I Explain Gaps In My Employment?
It is important to ensure that if you have any gaps in your employment history you give details of these rather than leaving it up to the imagination of the Recruiter. Have you done anything productive such as voluntary work, raised a family or attended a training course? Maybe your gaps aren’t as big as you think!