Wednesday, 3 August 2011

Top 5 Tips for creating an impressive CV

Your CV will make a huge difference as to whether you:  firstly get the interview and secondly whether you get the job.
Employers go through thousands of CV’s and take no casualties when it comes to the occasional blunder. So, make sure your CV is the best it can be before sending off your application.

1) Tailor your CV to the job you’re applying to
This tip is very important as many us don’t bother. There’s no point being lazy because chances are, there is another applicant who will tailor their CV to the job role, and they’ll snap an interview.
Employers will definitely remember you for your CV, and once you have been invited for an interview, they’ll refer/ask you questions about it. It’s very important that you know what is and what isn’t on your CV.

2) Make your profile stand out

I'm guilty of this myself as I have a couple of sweeping generalisations in mine, such as ‘I’m very diligent’. Clearly, the problem with having such statements is that they become empty. Think about it, if you’re the employer and you’re reading thousands of CV’s which all state how ‘hardworking’ the applicant is, it becomes meaningless. Instead, try to be a bit more concise, for example, ‘I’m a recent 2.1 graduate in publishing with professional contacts’. Now employers will see the picture you’re beginning to paint, e.g. this candidate has done previous experience in their field to gain their contacts. 

3) Check your spelling and grammar
Unlike me, you may not be an English student and may not take time with spelling and grammar. However employers, and for that matter anyone who reads your CV, will spot the mistakes. It looks unprofessional at graduate level and creates a bad impression – so make sure you proof read!

4) Include succinct and relevant information
I can’t emphasise this tip enough, don’t waffle on, your CV needs to be short (1-2 pages) succinct and concise. Employers won’t spend hours on end reading all the little points in your CV – summarise and create simple headings. A nice one I like to use is ‘Key Skills’, which is a great time to detail your ‘Computer skills’ etc.
If you’re having problems with your CV being too long, then create a longer version of your CV. For example, any descriptions about your employment e.g. ‘I was a sales assistant at...’ keep that in the longer version, and in your shorter version just include ‘Sales Assistant at Next from --/--/--‘. 

5) Be honest
Make sure you stay honest in your CV because you will be found out. At interviews employers will almost definitely have a copy of your CV, and they’ll definitely be asking you about it. It’s not worth lying.

All of the tips above are relevant to all CV’s and for whatever work place you’re applying to. In future I’ll be posting a CV workshop which will outline headers and skills you may like to mention in your CV.
It occurred to me, after seeing a CV today, how different that they can be and I’m a true believer in keeping it simple and concise. So don’t copy and paste a CV from the internet (I’ve heard all the horror stories), keep reading these blog posts and you never know, you may learn something!

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