1. Give your CV some “personality”.
Avoid those profiles sections at all costs. These are too self-orientated and convey a very lazy approach to CV writing. Remember, most candidates can say that they are ambitious, motivated and well-educated so the trick is to go one stage further than this. If you can demonstrate your personal qualities throughout your CV, you will automatically increase your attractiveness as a candidate. You need to make yourself seem special and different by conjuring up a picture of yourself. Choose words applicable to you, words that reflect something about you as a person. Avoid words such as “responsible” or “involved” but use active words which communicate what you are like as a person. Be honest about yourself, focus on your strengths and answer the how, what, when and where questions and your personality will be communicated to the reader.
2. Ensure your CV is “slim”.
Employers don’t have the time or inclination to read “fat” CVs. Be succinct and never express in ten words what can be said in three. Trim down your CV to ideally two pages and certainly no more than three. Leave out the excess “fatty” bits, which add nothing to your appeal.
3. Choose the employer you fancy and then move in.
Targeting is key to writing a first class CV. The truth is you’ll never be able to write a highly effective CV if it isn’t targeted towards the job in question. Employers want to see that you have a clear idea of what you want, what you can do and what you’ve previously done. Focus on what you can offer the employer and above all focus on what value you will add to the organisation.
4. Make it easy for the reader to “spot” your talents.
Write your CV in such a way that it is easy for the employer to get what he/she wants quickly. Employers want to be able to understand very quickly what you are offering the organisation. Project yourself into the job and write at least half a page of capability statements that demonstrate how you will contribute to the organisation.
5. “Excite” your reader.
Your CV must demonstrate and highlight what you are offering. Make sure your capabilities and skills are highlighted clearly.
6. Demonstrate your level of “experience and expertise”.
Employers ask for credentials and experience in order to ensure that you are right for the job on offer. Promote your experience to-date and clearly highlight your measurable achievements and conquests.
7. Be “safe”.
Employers want staff who can be relied upon and can follow instructions. Ensure that your CV is accurate and complies with the requests of the advertisement. If it doesn’t, you may be viewed as someone who is prone to error, difficult to manage and difficult to satisfy.
8. Avoid overemphasising your “previous exploits”.
Your CV must focus on the job on offer and this employer. Highlight how you will add value and make a difference to this organisation and less on what you managed to pull off in the past.
9. Emphasise “technique” rather than “size”.
Refer to what you have achieved within your previous roles rather than what you got paid in terms of salary, perks and bonus.
10. Above all, turn the reader on.
If you are looking for a design job then the CV style must show your design skills; if you are looking for a marketing job then you must show that you can market yourself, if you are looking for a financial role then the CV must quantify details and figures.
“The worst part of losing a job over a weak CV,” says Sarah Berry, “is that it is the one aspect of your job search over which you have complete control. If it fails to show you off in the best light – you are doing yourself a grave disservice.”
If you are unsure how good your CV really is, then get it professionally assessed today by Sarah Berry or one of her trained consultants.