CV, your curriculum vitae. I’m not sure about you but I have always found this mind-numbingly boring to write… HOWEVER, they’re your gateway to your dream job! Having a top, tailored and well put together CV will boost your chances at getting a face-to-face interview. Keep reading for a few tips and tricks to create the perfect, tailored CV!
First things first, what does a ‘perfect CV’ look like? What do you need to include? You may be reading this trying to write your first ever CV? Maybe you’ve hit 50 and fancy a career change? (If so check our latest blog out for a little helping hand). Keep reading and make sure that you’re up to date with the latest CV necessities. We’ll try and make it as simple as possible!
Make sure to include your name, email address and phone number. If you want to, you can add gender, nationality, date of birth or you can keep your potential employers guessing. Bear in mind that none of these is required and employers aren’t allowed to ask your age in interviews.
Your personal profile is the section below your personal details. Although it should only be a small paragraph (of about 4-5 sentences) it’s one of the most important aspects of your whole CV. The perfect place to catch your employers’ eye! Here you can let people know who you are, the skills and strengths you can offer and maybe even a career goal or two. Sell yourself.
Make sure that you make your personal statement tailored towards the position you are applying to, we’ll chat more about tailoring your CV below, stay tuned!Tweet
Start with your most recent position and work backwards. Include the organisation, dates of employment, job title and a brief description of your responsibilities and achievements. *IMPORTANT* try not to leave gaps in your employment history as this may create a few question marks for your employer.
Like your experience section, your education should be listed in reverse chronological order. Make sure to include your Institution name, the date you attended, subject and your qualification.
A section you can tell your employers a little about yourself outside of work. What do you like to do in your spare time? Share your passions and hobbies, this can really help an organisation see how you will fit in with your potential colleagues.
Style your CV
The look of your CV is super important, no one’s going to want to read something that’s a job in itself. Downloading a CV template will allow you to become familiar with the different layouts available and will help you find your preferred style.
The standard is no longer than 2 sides of A4. This makes your CV easy to read and prevents you from putting in too much irrelevant info!
Picking a clear and simple font like Ariel or Calibri keeps your CV looking professional and easy to read. If you want to add a little character in, try changing your fonts for the headings (nothing too crazy now). Also, try putting your headings in bold to make them stand out and improve the readability.
Imagine sending off that CV you’ve spent hours perfecting for your DREAM job, and looking later to read “Degree in Marketing management”. Not ok. Luckily for you (and me, spelling isn’t my strong point), there are tonnes of great free apps/websites that can help your CV read flawlessly. Check out websites such as Grammarly to help you with your perfect CV.
Tailoring Your CV Perfect
A generic CV can be spotted a mile off by most recruiters. Tailoring your CV is about highlighting the parts of your CV that best fit the job description. By doing this you’re instantly telling the potential employer that you’re very interested in the job and that you’re more than capable to smash the job at hand.
So, how do I ‘tailor the perfect CV’?
- Begin by reading the job description and identifying what the employer is looking for and also what the role requires.
- Pick out keywords. A lot of employers now use ATS (applicant tracking system) software which can scan a CV for keywords and identify how suitable a candidate is for the job. Finding those cheeky key phrases in a job description can help you get past that screening process and stand out to employers.
- You’re probably not going to be able to offer all of the skills necessary, who can? But those relevant skills, whether that’s from a previous role, volunteer work, or your qualifications, make them visible. Draw attention to examples of a time when you have shown the skills required in practice.
Tailoring your CV always sounds like such hard work, but you’ll realise a lot of jobs want similar skills… Communication, teamwork, problem-solving, self-management, a little tweak here and there to your standard CV should be all that’s needed!
Which parts do I need to tailor?
Don’t worry, you don’t need to tailor every section of your CV… The best sections to adjust are the sections where you are able to sell yourself. Be sure to switch up your personal statement, work history, skills and work-related qualifications as some of these may be more applicable than others. They’re asking for a ‘leader’ show them a time that you’ve shown leadership skills. ‘Wow’ them with the time you lead a group of people in work, Uni, or during charity work!
Your employer wants to know that you’re suitable for the job and also a keen applicant. Similarly, tailoring your CV will set you on the right foot and give you more of a chance to secure that job that you want.
If you would like any more advice on your CV layout, design or contents please don’t hesitate to contact us. We’d love to help you out in finding your dream job!