Your CV is the one stage of the job application process that is entirely in your hands, so it is important to ensure that yours is well crafted, demonstrates your skills and grabs a potential new employer’s attention straight away. Working within the parameters of a few key rules can help you to create an optimal CV that shows how you are the best candidate for the job you are applying for.
How to set out your CV is one of the most vital things you can learn. Something to bear in mind is that most employers or HR departments will be sifting through a lot of CVs, sometimes hundreds, at the initial selection stage. Therefore, chances are they are going to skim read to begin with, focusing on the first paragraph or top third of page one. This should contain your up to date contact details and a personal profile. Your profile needs to outline clearly and concisely what skills you possess that you can bring to the new job, along with your career objectives. Further down, you can expand on these by offering examples of how you have used your skills to good effect in the past.
Information to Include
One of the most common mistakes people make when writing a CV is trying to include too much information, making their CV long and difficult to read. Write in clear, concise sentences and try to avoid generalisations such as ‘works well with others’. Use examples from previous jobs, academia or your personal life to fully demonstrate why you will be able to fulfil the role positively. Focus on your strengths, and only include weaknesses if you are using them to demonstrate how you have overcome them in the past.
There is no need to include information such as reasons for leaving past jobs or problems you have encountered unless it is as an example of your problem solving skills. Employers will be looking for confident people who are realistic about their abilities and have a positive attitude; not only to their potential new career but to the positions they have held in the past.
Research Potential New Employers
Although you can have a general CV ready as a template, it is always necessary to demonstrate that you are up to speed with not only the job you are applying for, but the company also. Include information about work you have done in the past that emphasises how these experiences make you ideal for the new job.
-Always proof-read and utilise the spelling and grammar checking facility on your computer.
-Don’t supply names for references at this stage. You can say you work for a company, but don’t mention your boss until you have reached interview stage.
-Use power verbs to begin sentences, such as Achieved or Implemented.
-Scatter keywords throughout in case the company uses technology to scan the initial applications.
-Never send in a hand-written CV.
About the Author
This post was brought to you on behalf of Chair Office