As those of you who have registered with me will know I am always happy to provide advice and guidance on how best to present your CV. This Easter weekend is a time when people will eat too much chocolate, spend time with friends and family and perhaps undertake DIY. It is also a time when people start to consider their future and look for new career opportunities. So, if you are planning on writing or revamping your CV this weekend, here are some thoughts I would like to share with you.
The first thing to remember is that your CV is a marketing document. It is your personal advertising campaign in which you need to “sell” your skills, abilities, qualifications and experience to employers. The CV is your opportunity to demonstrate how the experience you have gained is relevant to the role you are applying for and useful to your prospective employer.
Length of CV: One of the most common mistakes I see is when someone has tried to cram a wealth of experience on to one A4 page. A job title and two lines is not enough information to make the recruiter want to find out more! Develop your CV to really demonstrate your experience. You do not have to keep it to one double-sided piece of A4. 91% of recruiters see a word document of two to three pages as the right way to go. Ideally bullet point the experience gained in each role. You want to stamp your experience clearly for a prospective employer to quickly and easily assess your suitability for their role. Ensure you use your space wisely. Sometimes CV’s will tell me more about the role a candidate held 10 years ago for 6 months than the role they have been employed in for the last four years.
Contact details: This might seem obvious but include contact details on your CV. It is not enough to register them on the job board you register your CV on. Your CV itself must include all contact details; telephone and email. No contact details – no interview. Do not expect a recruiter to hunt you down! By the same token think about what your email address says about you eg firstname.lastname@example.org could raise a few eyebrows. Make sure your voicemail message is professional too.
Presentation and Content: Your CV is a summary of your career history and as such you should include the obvious things such as qualifications and experience. This information should be provided in a logical order eg Personal details, Education and Experience. All information should be listed in reverse chronological order (ie. With the most recent at the top), allowing your reader to see what you’ve done recently, then to continue reading if they think it’s relevant to their needs.
Poor spelling and grammar: Over 50% of recruiters highlighted poor spelling and grammar as their number one application turn-off. Poor spelling and grammar demonstrates a lack of time and effort spent proof reading your CV, which in turn can translate to a lackadaisical attitude to work. I could retire on how many CV’s claim the candidate has ‘strong attention to detail and the ability to liase with people at all levels’. Many recruiters will simply reject CV’s with these errors. Get a friend to proof read it for you.
Remember your CV is the tool to get you ‘in the door’. It is the tool to find you the right job. Spend time on it. Think about what you do and how you do it.
Remember no photo! http://grayagency.com/yes-or-no-should-job-seekers-put-a-photo-on-their-cv
Have a lovely break and if you need any assistance do get in touch.