Your CV is the ultimate first impression. Your chance to sell yourself to a prospective employer and land that dream job. The perfect CV could make the difference between landing your ideal role or settling for second best, so putting the time in now could be the best career decision you ever make.
1.Draw attention to your strengths
The aim of a CV is to bring attention to your strongest professional attributes. You can do this by inserting two or three sentences or bullet points at the top of the page which outline your key strengths. This ensures that the first thing your potential employer sees creates a strong and professional impression.
2. Do your research
Read the job description and take note of the person they’re looking for. Show them you’re that person.? Find evidence that your work history or education is relevant to the qualities they’re looking for and highlight it in your CV.
Don’t lie. Pretending to be someone you’re not will not work out well for you in the long term. Analyse yourself and your past jobs with a critical eye to find any characteristics or experience you have which would be appropriate for the role you’re applying for.
3. Choose the right layout
The layout of your CV can help emphasise or minimise different parts of your employment or educational history. Employers naturally scan the top half of a page before deciding whether or not to read on, so make sure your strongest attributes are front and centre. If you’re a school-leaver with limited work history, list your qualifications first. If you don’t have many certifications to your name but plenty of work history, put details of your most recent roles first.
Grammar and spelling errors are the number one reason employers disregard CVs. It should go without saying but proofreading is absolutely crucial to your success. If you don’t trust yourself or your computer to check it thoroughly, ask a friend to read over it for you. A fresh pair of eyes often catches glaring errors that may otherwise have cost you the job.
The average job vacancy receives upwards of 300 applications. Employers take an average of 10 seconds to scan a CV before deciding whether or not to throw it out. With such a short window to make an impression, clarity is essential to any successful job application.
Bullet points are your friend. Listing your strongest qualities early on in your CV makes it easy for the employer to garner the information they’re looking for as they wade through the piles of identical bits of paper. Keep the font simple and the sections well spaced. Keep the length down to two pages at the most.
Ultimately, your CV is an extension of yourself. It needs to stand out from the crowd and be read quickly and easily. If you follow these tips and put the hard work into creating the perfect CV, you give yourself a fighting chance to land the dream job that you deserve.