The most common request I get from job hunters is ‘Can you please show me the format of your winning CV?’ Apart from this demonstrating the candidate’s fear of getting the CV wrong, it also demonstrates the candidate’s inability to recognise his/her own value. Having a successful career is all about your ability to recognise your worth and to make decisions based upon that.
Job hunters often get caught in the trap of not making decisions. ‘I’ll just wait and see whether this CV does it’. Is this a good decision or a bad decision? Job hunters who achieve success have set out to achieve their success. They don’t think, ‘My dream job will turn up’. They take action to achieve this dream job. The closer you look at this, the closer you get to the truth. The successful job hunter has the ability to improve his/her sales tactics and to take the necessary action.
Listed below are some top CV tips to help you to realise where your current CV is letting you down. Remember, you need a CV that promotes, sells and opens doors for you. You cannot afford to have a CV that accounts for your time and is similar to everybody else’s CV. Check out the points below and if necessary take action to ensure that your CV has the right style and slant to be successful in your profession or field of work.
1. Give your CV some “personality”
Avoid profile 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/three pages depending upon your level of experience. Leave out the excess “fatty” bits which add nothing to your overall appeal.
3. Think as the employer
Targeting is key to writing a first class CV. The truth is that 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 remember that your focus needs to be on the employer and not on you. How have you presented your capabilities to show that you have the skills, expertise and passion that the company is looking for?
5. “Convince” your reader
Your CV must be convincing. Has your CV gone beyond surface level? Have you demonstrated and highlighted what you are offering? Have you given the reader more reason to say ‘YES’ to you than to say ‘NO’?
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 a “safe” decision
Employers want staff who can be relied upon and who 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. How have you conveyed the fact that you are a safe and sensible choice?
8. Be professional
Use the CV to promote your professional skills. Although you may have an active social life, the CV is not the place to broadcast this. Be smart. What is your employer looking for? What have you missed to-date? What haven’t you seen before? What questions have you not asked yourself before now? What strategy have you relied upon and exhausted to-date? Is your CV a smart CV? Has your CV answered the concerns the employer would have about employing you?
9. Play down your demands
It is not necessary to list your salary, perks and bonuses on your CV. If you feel you are worth £50K then your writing style, presentation and business acumen must reflect this.
10. Remember that you change, not the market
The only thing that will help you get the job you want is your sales tactic. If your CV is promoting you effectively then you will achieve success. If you are not getting what you want, then you have to change your tack. What signals is your CV sending out?
“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 effective your CV is for your job target, then get it professionally assessed today. CLICK HERE for more information.