Arran Williams, February 17, 2016
When was the last time you refreshed your CV?
If you can’t remember or if it was way back when, it is definitely time to spruce it up.
A strong CV is an essential tool in helping you stand out from the competition.
So, in order to help you to achieve this, we have put together some advice and tips that will hopefully help!
Change the structure
Are you finding that you are not getting much response from employers when sending out your current CV?
If so, It could be time to change the structure for a more effective design.
A well structured CV can help ensure that the employer sees the important information straight away.
Typically, a CV is broken down into certain key sections. These include personal details (name, address etc), education, employment history and interests. Sticking to this format, making sure that each section is labelled clearly, will make it a lot easier for the reader to find the information most important for them.
Have a think about what will be the most important section for the employer. Do your academic achievements play a big role in the new job? Or could it be that your work experience is a key factor?
Whichever the case is, make sure that you prioritise these at the top.
Cut out the waffle
So many CVs are filled with irrelevant information. Employers on average take around 6 seconds to scan a CV. This is why it’s so important to have clear and concise points that catch the employer’s eye straight away.
Avoid repeating information as that can become dry and tedious for the reader. Try to cut out words that you have used to pad out sentences. Less is definitely more!
If you have any jobs that aren’t relevant to the new role, take these out completely to cut down the word count.
Tailor for every role
Each role you apply for is likely to be different from the last. It is therefore essential that the information you provide in your CV reflects and directly matches these differences.
Edit out the stuff that will not be of any use to the person reading it. Remember that the reader will glance over your CV looking for key words. Have a scan through the actual job description and pick out the key words that appear frequently and use these as much as you can be in your CV.
With many employers now using tracking software to make sure that candidates are suitable, it's more important now more than ever to make sure relevant key words are being used. Check out this great tool to help you out.
Check, check and check again! Then get someone else to have a read through it. Spelling and grammatical errors are never a good look and are a pretty good way to get your CV thrown into the bin (harsh but true!)
Make sure that you look over the old information too, as there is a chance that you may have missed a mistake the first time around.
Show off career highlights
Rather than just listing each job that you have held and your day to day duties, use your CV as an opportunity to showcase your achievements.
Elaborate on the skills that you have learnt in each position and explain how it helped to achieve a larger goal within the company, this demonstrates a deeper understanding of the role you played in the bigger picture.
Simply listing your day to day duties will be boring for the employer and won't give you that extra edge.
It can feel like you are bragging but a prospective employer will take significantly more interest in what you achieved rather than just what you did. Go ahead and blow that trumpet, it could make all the difference.
Whilst it might seem like a long process to start over, creating a brand new CV could be the key to breathing new life into your job search.
When starting again, take your time to make sure you are creating something different and more effective than the last time. Avoid reading your old CV to lose the temptation of re-using an old format. This way you can put new practices into place that should be more effective.
Remember that as time goes on, your writing style changes, meaning that starting over rather than just adding extra information on top of the old will help to ensure a consistent and cohesive read.
We hope that these tips can help you gain more responses from employers and put you on the right track to finding your dream job.
Comment below on what has worked for you.