5 steps to an amazing CV
September 10 2019 , 0 Comments
Applying for a new post can be nerve-wracking, but with a well-composed CV you can be confident that you’ve got the best chance of impressing your potential employer. Statistics show that the average number of applications received for any given job is 118, and only a fifth of those applicants will be invited to interview. So, here are the five steps that you need to follow to make sure that your CV gets noticed for all the right reasons.
Writing For Your Target Audience
Although adapting your CV every time you apply for a job can be time-consuming, it’s absolutely essential if you want to create the right impression. Employers can tell if you’ve just copied and pasted information or used generic language and your application is likely to end up in the reject pile.
For most positions, there will be a clear person and job description available which indicates the qualifications, experience and skills that applicants are expected to have. You need to tailor your CV to match this description.
Highlight the experience that you have which is relevant to the post for which you’re applying using specific terms and language from their own requirements. By doing this, you’ll be able to fully demonstrate that you have a clear understanding not only of the industry sector but of the company itself. Take the opportunity to find out as much as you can about the organisation to which you’re applying and make sure to show in your CV how you’re a good fit with its ethos and values. This will help to make your CV stand out from the competition.
Cite Your Evidence
It’s vital to get the personal statement element of your CV right. This is your chance to showcase your talents and abilities so that your potential employer can see beyond any doubt that you would be an excellent fit for their organisation. The best way to achieve this goal is to ensure you’ve used actual examples that highlight how you meet the requirements of the post.
So back up your achievements with facts and figures. It will always look more impressive to give concrete information for employers, and specific numbers will give your statement greater weight. Stating that you’ve increased sales at your current company is good, but saying that you’ve increased them by 50% over the past 6 months is even better.
Keep It Succinct
While it’s important to tailor your CV to the specific post and to include concrete examples of your skills in practice, it’s also key to keep it to the point. The best CVs are no longer than two sides of an A4 sheet. It can be tempting to write as much as possible to show in detail every qualification, experience and skill that you have to offer. However, bear in mind that the average recruiter will spend less than 8 seconds looking at your CV.
If you send a small book of your achievements to date, it’s likely to achieve the opposite effect to the one you desire. If the information the employer is looking for isn’t immediately obvious, your application could end up being rejected. Keeping it punchy and concise is the best course of action. You’ll have plenty of opportunities to expound on the details during the interview.
Looks Are Important
The content of your CV isn’t the only thing you need to consider – the appearance is essential too. A poorly formatted CV won’t catch the eye and could even detract from the skills you have to offer. Remember that you have just seconds to make the right impact, so getting the key facts to stand out is key. Some top tips to keep in mind when it comes to your CV layout include:
- Use bullet points wherever possible to break up large chunks of text.
- Keep your sentences short and to the point.
- Leave plenty of space around the text and in between headings to keep the layout user-friendly.
- Choose a simple font like Calibri or Arial in size 11 or 12 to make it easy to read.
- Use clear headings and sub-headings but limit your use of bold and italics.
Proofread Before Sending
When hundreds of applicants are sending a CV for the same post, a single spelling or grammatical error could end up in yours being rejected. Always scan your CV for mistakes before sending it off. Run a spellchecker through the document and read it through several times yourself to make sure that it all makes sense and that nothing important has been left out.
Follow these five top tips and you can be confident that you’ve created a CV that gives you the best chance of standing out from the crowd and catching the eye of your potential employer for all the right reasons.
This article was written by Check A Salary, a platform dedicated to providing insight on earnings for every position in the UK.