What’s a CV?
A CV (which stands for Curriculum Vitae) is a written overview of your career history. It sums up your qualifications, education and previous jobs. It's a way of telling employers how you’re the magical candidate of their dreams
Employers get flooded with CVs on a daily basis, so you need to stand out. Here are our top 10 tips for creating the best CV:
1. Tailor your CV
Everyone’s done it. Lazily sent out the same CV to lots of companies because it's the easy thing to do. It won’t do you any favours, employers can spot this tactic straight away.
Every role and company is different, so do your research. Read the job description thoroughly and look up the company to fully understand what they want
One you’ve done your homework, highlight the relevant skills and experience you hold in your CV. Make sure they’re easy to see!
2. Add a personal statement
Employers haven’t got the time to closely analyse every CV they receive. Include a personal statement to give an overview of why you’re right for the role.
Tip: See it as a written elevator pitch. Imagine you’re in a lift with an interviewer. You start at the ground floor and you’re heading to the top. It takes 20 seconds to get there. In this time, You have to explain why you’re right for the job. What would you say?
3. Fill the gaps
Employers are a nosey bunch. A gap on your CV will make them wonder what you’ve been up to. If you’ve got any gaps, explain what you were doing during that time. Whether you were travelling or doing voluntary work, share it loud and proud!
4. Check your grammar
Errors on your CV are not a good look. No-one’s expecting you to be a literary whizz (unless that’s the job you’re applying for) but a basic grasp of spelling and punctuation is a minimum requirement.
Reading something over and over can fry your brain and you’re likely to miss things. Although spellcheckers are handy, they’re not always correct. Ask a friend or relative with decent grammar skills (the grammar police) to give your CV a quick read to help you out.
5. Tell the truth
A few lies won't hurt right? Yes they will!! You’ll get caught out! DON’T DO IT!
Background checks will find the truth and you’ll lose the job. Don’t lie about anything, not even your hobbies. Imagine if the interviewer is also a “keen snowboarder” and asks you which board you have. Yep, awkward!
6. Give details
Explain your actions and their results. Instead of “I increased memberships” you can say “managed a 3 week social media campaign which attracted 10,000 sign ups” The bigger the result, the more impressive it’ll be (but don’t lie!).
7. Get creative
The world is a competitive place, thinking outside the box can get you far. Instead of a plain boring CV, why not use a colourful template? It can leave an impression and help you stand out from the crowd.
We live in a modern world. More and more industries are adopting digital solutions to help them recruit.
The use of ‘applicant tracking system’ or ATS is increasing. ATS systems scan your CV and score it based on several aspects. The factors include format, grammar and most importantly relevant keywords.
Use the relevant buzzwords for the job you're applying for, many of these can be found in the job description. For example, if a job description says you need “knowledge of CRM”, add this to your CV, the bots will spot it and it’ll work in your favour!
9. Update it
When something changes in your career, update your CV as soon as possible. If you do it later, there’s a risk you’ll forget something.
Whether you’ve had a promotion, moved to another firm or gained a new skill, stick it on your CV. Out of date CVs are so last year!
10. Be concise
A CV shouldn’t be more than 2 pages in length. Employers want an overview of your skills, not an autobiography, so keep it to the point and bin the waffle.
Bullet points are a great way to keep your sentences short and sweet. Explain enough but not too much, save the deeper details for the interview.