THE BLOG

Your CV Has Only Nine Seconds to Impress

23/01/2015 12:45 GMT | Updated 24/03/2015 09:59 GMT

Kick-starting your career after graduation in a hugely competitive market can be a daunting and challenging experience. With the sheer volume of applications that recruiters receive it is no surprise they spend less than nine seconds on average reviewing your CV. To make sure your CV stands out from the crowd, instantly grabbing an employer's attention, it is vital to start developing a professional and concise overview of your skills and experience as early into your degree as possible. Here are some top tips to help you do so:

Layout

The layout of your CV matters, keep it simple and make it clear. Use bullet points, make sure the information is not crammed in and follow a logical order. These steps will make your CV easier to read and remember you only have up to two pages, so make sure every word counts.

Relevance

If the job description states that the employer is looking for someone with good planning and organising skills then this is the skill you need to highlight. Concentrate on skills that are relevant to that particular job and make it explicit to the recruiter that you have the skills they are looking for. Every employer looks for a specific combination of skills and experience and so you will have to tailor your CV to each job you apply for.

Achievements

This is a great opportunity for you to set yourself apart from other applicants and show the recruiter where you have excelled yourself. Achievements can include being awarded good grades, being elected as a leader of a group or taking on additional responsibilities. Your CV is likely to have greater impact and stand out more if you include your achievements.

Accuracy

Did you read and double check your CV before you sent it? If you make mistakes and spell words incorrectly all you are telling the recruiter is that you don't pay attention to detail. Take the time to check through your CV, if you are unsure use a dictionary and do not rely on spell check to decide whether you have the correct spelling and meaning of a word. There are many mistakes you can make, examples include 'practice' vs practise' and 'effect' vs 'affect'. It is important to get the detail right.

Image

Think about your email address and the image is presents, are you sure that your email is appropriate and sets the right tone. Avoid using an address designed to make your friends laugh. It would be better to set up a new email address that makes a more professional impression.