When you are applying for a new job, your CV plays an important role in securing an interview – but how do you make sure your CV has competitive advantage over the pile of CVs from which to select interviewees rather than thrown straight in the bin?
A CV is a marketing document in which you are marketing yourself! You need to “sell” your skills, abilities, qualifications and experience to employers. Putting together a successful CV is easy once you know the secret to do it. Considering the job you are applying for, you need to tailor all your skills and experience. We’ve put together the following tips to help you get started in creating a successful CV and securing your first (or next) job.
- There is no right or wrong way to write a CV but there are some areas you need to cover including your personal and contact information, education and qualifications, work experience, relevant skills related to the job, interests and hobbies, achievements and references.
- A successful CV should be carefully and clearly presented. The layout should always be well structured and CVs should never be folded.
- Employers are looking for you to either ‘make the company money’, ‘save them money’ or ‘operate more efficiently’. So have you got that “WOW” factor, if so add it to your CV.
- Your CV should stand out from the crowd and get you noticed. For this purpose, you just keep things short and sweet. A CV is an assurance to a potential employer and if everything is satisfied, there’s a better chance of a job interview.
- Employers receive piles of CVs for any job, so it’s improbable they’ll read each one. Most will make a judgment about a CV from their presentation and contents.
- To secure any job interview, job description is vital. You need to concentrate on all details and if necessary make notes of it. You need to make sure that you have all the skills required to perform the job according to employer needs. For example, if the job in question requires someone with customer services experience, you should mention any customer services role you’ve done. It will substantiate the skills you do have and show how they will help you in that job.
- You should create a CV specifically for every role as there is no such thing as a standard CV. Every CV you send to a potential employer should be formatted to that particular role. You should compose a new CV for every job you apply for. You don’t have to re-write the whole thing, just amend the details so they’re relevant to that role.
- Don’t forget to mention key skills that can help you to stand out as an exceptional candidate. These include communication skills, IT skills, team player, working under pressure or accuracy. It can also be your ability to speak different languages.
- Interests should be highlighting the things that show skills you’ve gained and employers are looking for. Include anything that shows how diverse, interested and multi-skilled you are. Don’t include passive interests like watching TV, solitary hobbies that can be perceived as you lacking in people skills.
- You should use positive and assertive words in your work history and experience parts, such as “organised” or “achieved”. Relate the skills you have learned to the job role you’re applying for.
- References should be from someone who has employed you in the past and can give assurance of your skills and expertise. If you’ve never worked before, you can use a teacher or tutor as a referee.
- It is essential to review your CV on a regular basis and add any new skills or experience that’s missing. Even if you’ve just done some volunteering or worked on a new project, make sure you mention them. Candidates who go an extra mile to enhance their expertise and knowledge make good impact on potential employers.