Your CV is the gateway between you and that first meeting with a recruiter, hiring manager, or future boss. If you want to get your foot in the door, then you need to write a good one.
Writing a great CV need not take long and the impact on your job search will make that time well spent. Before you hit send on your next job application, follow our five quick tips to improve your CV and get more interviews.
Focus on your achievements and make it tangible
A wordy CV outlining every detail of your job means that the most important information will get lost. Don't distract from your accomplishments. Cut out the filler and highlight your main, tangible achievements. Use facts and figures if possible. How much did you grow your market? How much revenue did you bring in? How did you make a failing process more efficient and what was the business result? These sorts of tangible achievements will make it much easier for a prospective employer to see your worth.
Always tailor your CV to the role
It doesn't take long to tailor your CV for a new job, but it could make a huge difference. After reading the job description, revise your CV focusing on the work you did and accomplishments you've made that are relevant. If there are any areas you're lacking, think about your transferable skills or life experiences. Candidates often downplay these skills but hiring managers are interested in more diverse backgrounds so don't be afraid to include it.
Update your career summary as well if needed. These details matter. If you send a generic CV, it looks like you don't care much for the job. Tailoring your CV will make you a more competitive candidate.
Keep it simple
Unless you're a designer, keep your CV simple and straightforward. Your goal is to provide information about yourself clearly and succinctly. Fancy fonts or complicated layouts can do more damage than good.
If it's difficult to read your CV or find basic details on it, then busy hiring managers will not bother to consider you. Don't make their job harder than it already is. Make sure your CV is scan-able and well-structured so that they can quickly get an idea of your experience and credentials. Two pages in length is standard.
Get a second opinion
We all make mistakes, but your CV should present the very best of you. Take care to perfect it. No matter how brilliant or conscientious a writer you are, always ask a friend, family member, or trusted colleague to review your CV before you send it out. Any error could be a deal-breaker. You don't want to lose out on that job because of a silly spelling mistake or misplaced comma.
Double check that your contact details are correct
You'd be surprised how often people are sloppy with their contact details! Ensure that these are correct and prominently placed. If you have an online portfolio or LinkedIn profile with glowing recommendations, make sure to include those details too. And if you're sending an electronic CV, hyperlink to the websites to make it as simple as possible for the recruiter or hiring manager to find out more about you. Just make sure that these profiles are as impeccably presented as your CV.
Think about your online presence before you hit send too. Your Facebook profile is just a google search away from a prospective employer. And chances are they will be looking. If you don't want that side of you to be known, or at least not at the interview stage, then make sure your privacy settings are up to date.