Tips for getting your CV noticed!
Just six seconds. That’s all it takes for the hiring manager to get that first impression. Longer than that and your application ends up in the bin.
It’s understandable. Reviewing a CV is time consuming and most vacancies are flooded with hundreds of applications. There’s just not enough time to read them all so make sure that yours stands out.
So here are tips from the experts to make your CV impossible to ignore.
Your CV should be around two pages long. You should only provide information that’s directly relevant to the job you’re applying for. Use shorter sentences and bullets.
If they can skim over two succinct pages and see, at a glance, that you have experience that’s relevant to the role, not only have you caught their attention, you’ve also saved them precious time. They’ll love you for that!
Design and Layout
A CV is a report of your professional experience, your key skills, and your career objectives. This is one area where you should be less concerned about expressing yourself, and more concerned that the information you give is clear and relevant.
So as a general rule, keep the layout of your CV as clean and simple as possible.
Place your contact details where hiring managers expect to see them – right at the top of your CV.
It’s becoming increasingly common to see social media links on CVs. But if you decide to do this, know that they will check you out. So ensure anything you’ve put on social media, including photos, is suitable for a prospective future employer to see. And if you have a LinkedIn account, make sure your job details – including dates – match those on your CV.
A summary or career objectives section is a good way to grab the attention of any potential employers. Place it right at the top of your CV, directly below your contact details.
Think of this section as your own personal sales pitch. And with that in mind, your summary should be adapted to suit each job you apply for. It needs to leave the reader itching to get you in for an interview.
Keep it concise, no longer than 100 words, and don’t just provide a summary of your career history. That bit comes next.
This section should sit below your summary, and run in reverse chronological order, with your current or most recent job at the top. Include the following information:
A brief explanation of what the company does – if it’s not obvious, you can add a link to the website. Specify years but not months worked for each job – unless you were in employment for less than a year
- A short description of your role
- Your key responsibilities
- The skills and experience you gained
- Your goals and achievements.
Avoid big blocks of text and use bullet points to help draw attention to the key words hiring managers are looking for.
If you find that this section is getting too long, you can afford to be brief with your earlier roles. After all, it’s most likely that your later roles will be more senior, more relevant, and more impressive to prospective employers.
A CV is not a one-size-fits-all document. When editing a CV, many people simply resort to adding their last job to their career information.
It’s equally important that you review what you’ve written previously; adapting it where necessary to the role you’re applying for, without adding unnecessary information.
To help you, print off the specification or advert for the job you’re applying for and highlight the words that you think are the most important for the role.
If you’re confident you have the right skills and experience, then make sure you include these words in your CV. Make them bold!
If you have a creative online portfolio, add a link to it. If not, accompany your CV with a well thought out PDF portfolio. Keep it below 10mb. It’s best to send your work samples in one PDF rather than attaching lots of individual pages.
It’s really important to make sure your work samples are specifically tailored to the role you’re applying for – a link to your Behance page with everything and anything on won’t make you stand out from the crowd.
If you really want your CV to stand out from the rest, it needs to be more than a historical account of your career.
Mind the Gap!
It’s quite common to find career gaps in CVs. Though most people feel that career gaps are not important, they almost always come into question at interview.
If there’s a perfectly valid explanation for your career gap, such as travelling, studying, or raising a family, then say so! This is both relevant and honest.
If you were forced in to redundancy and it took a little time to find your next role, explain the reason for the redundancy. You can also use this as an opportunity to briefly explain that you used your downtime productively, be it studying, volunteering, etc.
However, gaps as a result of dismissals or long-term illnesses may be perceived as red flags. Don’t draw attention to them but be prepared to address any questions if you’re asked. Explain the reasons to the interviewer with dignity, honesty but don’t dwell on the subject. Finish by stressing that this particular part of your life is in the past, and that you’re ready to embrace new opportunities.
A Personal Touch
Add a section about your interests and hobbies at the bottom of your CV.
This will tell your employer a bit more about you – what motivates and inspires you. In short, what makes you tick.
Many hobbies and activities involve the sort of skills that employers value, such as teamwork, communication, and leadership. The best employers are perfectly aware that hidden talents can benefit the workplaHYPERLINK “http://www.thecreativemovement.com/blog/how-hidden-talents-can-benefit-the-workplace/”cHYPERLINK “http://www.thecreativemovement.com/blog/how-hidden-talents-can-benefit-the-workplace/”e [link to our blog] – so don’t keep them hidden!
Remember, remember: proof read everything you’ve written and always ask someone else to read through it too. Spelling mistakes are a big no-no!
If you can make your CV impossible to ignore, you’ll be much more likely to land your dream job.
Once you’ve re vamped your CV, take a look at our latest jobs [link to our jobs page] to find the one that’s perfect for you. Or give us a call on 0115 8 245 245.