Putting the perfect Curriculum Vitae (CV) together is probably one of the hardest things you will ever have to write. This is because it is about you and most people find it hard to sell themselves in an attractive way. How effective is your CV at opening doors for you? Sarah Berry offers some expert advice:
“Most candidates are out of touch with what the present market requires. Sure they have a rough idea of how to present themselves and what to include, but they are not aware of how to present themselves in modern and competitive terms to win over the employer.”
The trouble with a CV is it is rarely read like a book. It is scanned.
CVs have evolved over time. There is no written law on CV writing, it is something which is very personal and of course subject to the current employment market and needs of employers. Thirty or forty years ago, all that was required of you was to write a brief letter, including relevant details about yourself and why you thought you could do the job on offer. This changed and the trend became to put everything down on paper – from graphic personal details including projects that you may have work on, to every course that you have ever attended – even if it is irrelevant. But this trend has changed again, since the comprehensive approach has proven ineffective in today’s market.
Begin by drafting a CV and then have it scanned by both a expert in recruitment and an ATS (applicant tracking system)
This will make sure you have got the right CV structure. Most people ignore such things as including all-important fixation points to grab the employer’s/recruiter’s attention. A quick scan will help you enormously to ensure ensure you are heading in the right direction with your CV. Career Consultants offers this service for free – simply upload your CV by clicking here.
Listed below are a few extra ways that a CV expert can help you improve your chances of achieving your next career goal.
1. Show you how to take control of your job hunt.
Your CV needs to be targeted towards your chosen profession. You can’t get away with an all round, general purpose CV. You need to show that you have depth and understanding of your field of work. You need to make the employer feel comfortable and assured that you are an expert in your field of work.
2. Point out the weakness of your current CV.
If you know where your current CV is letting you down, you can do something about it. What is it about your current CV that is putting employers off? Which sections of your CV need to be improved? It there enough sell in your CV? Have you conveyed your personality and how you operate within the business world? Have you convinced the reader how you will add value? Get the information you need to transform your CV.
3. Show you how to present yourself in the best possible light.
Every candidate has a hurdle to overcome. For some it is an illness, a career break, or not having the necessary qualifications. How are you going to tackle this? You need to make your ‘hurdle’ work in your favour and to make you look even stronger on paper.
4. Highlight the most successful format.
Some CV formats and writing styles are not as appealing as others. You want to give yourself the best possible reception. Have you gone on about yourself and risked turning the reader off? Do you need to make some changes in this area?
5. Inform you of how to sell yourself and make yourself look a winner.
The biggest mistake that most candidates make is to assume that the reader knows what value you they have to offer. Employers are looking for certain key qualities and your CV needs to cover these effectively.
6. Show you how to write about your work experience and education in a interesting way.
Most CVs are dull and boring. They tire the reader rather than inspire the reader. Have you fallen into this trap? Do you need to know what you have to do to change this emphasis?
7. Reveal that the CV is a crucial aspect of your job hunt.
While it may be easier to blame the market or things outside of your control, sometimes it is worth getting an expert opinion of your CV.
8. Help you to recognise that you are capable of so much more.
Are you waiting for your employer to tell you how brilliant and capable you are? What is stopping you from moving forward? Are you too comfortable with where you are and what you are doing? Do you need ‘to see yourself in a different light?’
9. Do you know what should be included in the CV and what needs to go in the covering letter?
Each document has a very different and distinct role to play in your job application. Make sure you are aware of what these are and what essential information you need to include in each.
10. Can you be bothered to make the necessary changes?
Are you willing to change? Do you recognise that your CV might not be right for this competitive market? Are you in tune with what employers are looking for when selecting electronically-submitted CVs?
Sarah Berry, best-selling author of ‘ Write a Perfect CV in a Weekend ‘, can help you with your CV. Click here for further information.