In today’s competitive jobs market, career hunters simply must stand out from the crowd at every stage of the recruitment process. That’s why having a stand-out CV is an absolute must. But how do you go about creating a CV that stands out from the crowd?
With employers often seeing hundreds of applications for jobs, producing a distinctive personal document which sells you as a well-rounded candidate is an essential part of any successful job search.
Get the short-cut to a first-class CV by following this ten point plan:
1. Keep it concise
A good CV should be punchy and pithy. Two A4 pages is an absolute maximum in terms of length. This is an opportunity to provide a succinct summary of your qualifications, skills and personal background – not a fully-fledged autobiography.
2. Cover the basics
Ensure all relevant personal information is included. Personal details such as name, address, phone and email contacts are fairly obvious but also make reference to any professional social media presence which you have. Clearly set out qualifications achieved, skills developed and work history so that the employer can easily find this vital information
3. Go for impact
Superior CVs always include a personal statement. This is essentially a career summary which links your achievements to the requirements of the job you are applying for. Write this part of the CV in the first person and keep the statement to a maximum of 200 words.
4. Keep it fresh
A stale CV will do more harm than good so make sure yours is always up to date. Submitting a CV which contains out of date information could undermine your credibility.
5. Make it relevant
Generic CVs are easy to create but are unlikely to impress a prospective employer. While it is acceptable to retain the core of the document, the CV should be tailored to meet the needs of each job you apply for. Taking the time to make specific links between your skills and experience and a particular post is always worthwhile.
6. Proof read for errors
Comb through the document in detail looking for spelling and grammatical mistakes. Employers and recruitment agencies need to narrow down the talent pool somehow and a quick way is to reject CVs which contain errors. Make sure your CV can get through this important quality control stage of the process.
7. Be honest
Lying on your CV is never a good idea. According to HR Magazine nearly two-thirds of CVs in the UK contain fabricated information such as inflated academic achievements and discrepancies in employment history. Going down this route will reduce the chances of getting employed and if discovered post-appointment could see you being sacked or even prosecuted for fraud.
8. Be specific
Highlight personal achievements which are relevant to the post, back them up with evidence and if possible quantify these. Clearly link what you have done with what the job and organisation requires.
9. Deliver impeccable layout and design
Carefully plan out how the CV will look and remember that it is a reflection of you. A professional looking CV can help get you noticed but remember to follow this through to interview stage.
10. Be keyword savvy
In today’s digital era employers are increasing using automated tools to help with scanning CVs. Including relevant keywords will help your CV pass this process with flying colours.
Crafting a truly excellent CV requires thought, effort and time all of which should be considered an investment in your future career. Read more in our free guide on how to write CVs at interview-skills.co.uk.