You may be the most qualified person for the job and excellent at interview, but if your CV is not opening doors for you….you have little or no chance of securing
that job. A CV is without doubt one of the most important tools in a job seekers arsenal! It amazes me what little effort many people put into creating such an important document. Very often I see CVs that have been thrown together in a hurried frenzy years ago. Then to make a poor CV worse, the job seeker attaches a few lines of their most recent job and thinks their new CV is complete.
So how good is your CV? Is it doing it’s job and getting you interviews? If the answer is no maybe it is time to give your CV a serious makeover.
Read your CV as if you are the Employer and ask yourself this question – Would I interview this person based on the information on the CV? Very often the answer is no and that is your cue to give your cv the time and attention it needs to stand out in this highly competitive marketplace.
Here are some points to consider while you give your CV that makeover:
1. Who you are and what personal traits you have. What qualifications and key skills you have to offer the employer.
2. Put a profile at the beginning your CV. I think this can be a great way to grab your reader’s attention and I often refer to the profile as your sign post. It will highlight your unique selling points, your level of experience and your desire for the job you are applying to.
3. What separates you from everyone else? What have been your achievements in previous jobs and what are your unique selling points? 9 times out of 10 the CVs I read state the job worked, the company, the amount of time they were in the position and their duties and responsibilities. The duties and responsibilities could be taken directly from the job description and tells the reader nothing about you. However add in some key achievements that you made and suddenly your CV becomes more interesting.
4. Start with your most recent work experience first. Don’t let the newspaper boy job be the first thing an employer sees when looking at your cv. Start with your most current job and work backwards. The same should apply to your education.
5. Read your CV and ask yourself this question. Does my CV portray the type of role I am looking for? Cover letters are often lost as a CV gets printed off and passed around a busy office, so your CV must clearly convey what you are looking for and why you are suitable for the role you are applying for. I recently helped someone looking for a Sales role and the bulk of his CV talked about his Accounting experience. With some light CV surgery we were able to highlight his sales experience more and play down his accounting experience. 4 interviews later he is in a Sales job he loves.
6. Make your CV as easy to follow as possible. Many employers will spend as little as 30 seconds screening a CV. So if is not clear and easy to follow it may end up in the rejection pile. So make your CV punchy and easy to follow. Get friends and family to look over it for 30 – 60 seconds and see if it grabs their attention.
What changes are you going to make to your CV?
What CV tips and advice do you have to share?