Writing a CV can be monotonous at times. However, you should understand that this is your number 1 sales tool, and that could be the key to attracting your dream job. Not only does it reflect your skills and experience, but it also gives a little insight to your personality, direction and goals. You only get a small amount of space to portray the best version of yourself, so please don’t sell yourself short at the first hurdle.
You only have a couple pages to pitch your skills, experience and personality. Don’t waste this space!
A couple facts for you: The average time spent analysing a resume by a recruiter is 5 to 7 seconds, and 61% of Recruiters will dismiss a resume because of typos. Shocking facts aren’t they!
Imagine putting all that effort into writing a CV, just to be looked over in 6 seconds! So I have compiled 9 of my best tips to optimise your CV and ensure it isn’t skimmed over and your best attributes are being read:
1. Keep it 1-2 Pages
You want potential employers to get the most information from your resume as quickly as possible. More doesn’t always mean better. Be specific and tailor your resume with key skills at relevant companies on similar projects. This will boost your chances of getting a job because the reader is looking to match your experience with the company’s needs. Include as much as you can without making your resume appear cluttered.
2. Ensure your dates are correct
Make it easy for the recruiter, a lot of CV’s have dates that don’t match up or have no explanation for missing time periods. In an ideal world, your resume will flow from your first job to your current job, with no gaps. Gaps leave room for questioning and assumptions, so if you had time out of work to travel, look after a family member, or even to pursue a career in professional Lego building, make sure you include them
3. Don’t overload it with hobbies
Keep it short, sweet & relevant. Remember, people reading your CV aren’t reading it because you applied to be their friend, you applied or a job. Too many hobbies is taking up precious room on your CV, and the person reading it cares more about your skills than your interests.
Keeping this in mind, you still need to state some interesting things about yourself, as cultural fit is a big part of getting the job!
4. Don’t list the reason why you’re no longer working at a certain job
This is something that can be discussed once the recruiter has decided you’re a suitable candidate. Once again it would be a waste of valuable space.. remember, 5-7 seconds is all you have.
5. Make sure you spellcheck
This is so important. It is so simple to download an app or use the Microsoft Word spellcheck feature. If you’re still not sure, get someone to proofread and spellcheck for you!
6. Make sure your address is correct
To increase your chances of getting the position, make sure if you put down your address, it is where you are currently living. If you’re applying for a job that isn’t close to you, include why you’re applying in your cover note.
7. Tailor your experience to match the role of interest
Let’s say you’re applying for a civil labouring job. Make sure you have Civil experience not just Labouring experience. You need to understand the job you’re applying for and make sure you research the company. If the company is advertising for a Pipelayer that has experience setting laser levels & digging trenches, make sure you have included these skills at a previous company. The more detailed and relevant, the better.
8. Don’t put irrelevant job titles
Are you a Leading Hand? If so, what jobs have you had as a leading hand? What duties did you have? Don’t bother applying for a Leading Hand position if you just finished working as Picker & Packer on a Dairy Farm.
9. No need to put a photo of yourself
This isn’t social media. A lot of employers/recruiters find this unnecessary, and it protects them from potential allegations of discrimination. There are a few industries where photos of your smiling face is appropriate, such as actors and models, as their appearance matters for hiring. If you believe your appearance would be an asset for your target job, you could incorporate a link to your LinkedIn profile on your CV is a safe and acceptable way to show a photo of yourself (now that IS social media).
Get your CV right from the start, and you’ll increase your chances of landing your dream job! Your CV is your chance to make a great first impression and secure yourself an interview, so follow these tips and then send over your hot new CV to firstname.lastname@example.org .