Top tips for writing a brilliant CV!
By: Kayleigh, redwigwam
Are you looking for a new job for the new year? Need some tips on how to improve your CV?
If the answer is yes, read on...
Most employers now will start off their process of going through job applications by using an applicant tracking system, to save them time. This means your CV will essentially be read by a computer, which will be searching for particular keywords. If the system doesn’t find the keywords the employer is looking for, your CV will be rejected before a human has even had the chance to look at it.
So what can you do about this?
Tailor Your CV to Each Job Application
The first mistake many jobseekers will make is usually to send the exact same CV out for all jobs that they are applying for. However, if you want to show an employer that you really want the job they’re offering, it is better to take the time to find out what each one is looking for and tailor your CV to suit them.
Read through the job application of the position you’re applying for and see what skills and experience they are looking for. You can then add in sentences to your CV which include keywords that relate to the role. This way you are showing the company how you could fit in to the job role.
Make Sure You’re Using the Right Type of CV For the Job You’re Applying For
If you’re applying for a job that you have experience in, it is best to use an experienced-based CV, which lists your past work experience in chronological order and has a brief description of what each role involved.
If you’re changing career it is best to use a skills-based CV. This should list relevant skills you have which would make you suitable for the position you’re applying for. This type of CV will usually start with a personal profile where you can briefly describe your skills and experience and what type of job you’re currently seeking. You will then go on to list your education then relevant skills. Put in headings such as administration, IT, communication, customer service, teamwork then bullet point your relevant experience in each one. You can then include a brief work experience section at the end.
Break Up the Text into Readable Sections
Once your CV has been scanned by the computer and passed on to the person doing the recruiting, they will want to see short and concise paragraphs that highlight your strengths, skills, and achievements. These should be straight to the point so the recruiter can easily see which suitable qualities you have.
Keep the CV to no more than 2 pages. Employers only spend an average of 8 seconds looking over a CV, so if it’s too long, they simply won’t read it. Your CV is just a brief overview. Anything an employer would like further information about, they will ask you in the interview.
To explain in more detail why you think you’re perfect for the job, include a cover letter. You can also point out on this how your qualifications are relevant and your reasons for why wanting to work for the company.
Try Not to Leave Any Gaps in Your Work History Timeline
If you were out of work for a period of time explain why or mention any courses or volunteering you may have done. Including voluntary work shows you have a good character as you’ve given up your time to do something helpful. You will also most likely have picked up some skills and experience along the way. If you haven’t done any voluntary work, consider doing some while you are job seeking so that you can add this to your CV and fill the gap.
Alternatively, picking up temporary jobs - like warehouse work - is a great way to add new skills to your CV.
Be an Achiever and Not a Doer
Instead of simply informing the reader of your responsibilities, highlight how you have managed to increase or optimise a particular part of a role and improved performance over time. Use numbers and statistics, state what you have done in a previous role to make improvements, explain what you did and how that enhanced their operations or results.
Leave Personal Information Out
Do not include personal information such as marital status, nationality, or age, as part of equal opportunities these details need not be included as the recruiter can’t be seen to be discriminating candidates.
Keep it Current
Be sure to update your CV regularly, adding any new qualifications or other experience as you go along.
If you try to fabricate anything about your work history or your skills and experience, chances are you will be found out.
Keep Your CV Tidy
Make sure your CV is well laid out so the recruiter will see you as being professional and someone who takes pride in your work. There are plenty of online checkers you can use to ensure your spelling and grammar are correct. It doesn’t look great if your CV is littered with errors.
Lastly, if you feel you need more skills and experience to add to your CV, why not sign up to work with redwigwam. You can start working with us without experience and pick up loads of skills and experience by trying out as many of the different jobs we have as you like. You can also complete our free e-learning courses to learn even more skills!