How to sell yourself on your CV
With the jobs market still in a pretty challenging state, it’s essential that if you are applying for a job, that you do all you can to optimize your chances of success. After all, you won’t be alone in applying for any given job – competition is still fierce and if you are going to get to that next stage – the interview, where you actually meet the employer, it’s essential that you sell yourself properly on your CV. Here are our top tips for doing just that.
Recruiters and HR professionals generally make their decision about you as a potential candidate within seconds, Harsh but true. A quick glance at a CV will tell them whether or not you are a viable candidate and whether they should take a little more time in reading your CV in some more detail. So it’s essential then that you grab their interest immediately. First impressions do count. If your personal profile is long-winded, contains frankly irrelevant information or simply has been copied word from word from a ‘textbook’ CV that you have seen online, they won’t be interested. Likewise, if your CV seems to read like an essay as opposed to being in distinct sections, they will most likely dismiss it out of hand. Ensure that the layout is clear, that sections are clearly outlined and that a momentary glance will tell them form the off that you are a worthy contender for their role.
Match your Skills
This really can’t be stressed enough. If you do not appear to have the skills that they have outlined in their advertisement or job description, you can’t be considered as a legitimate candidate. Employers and recruiters are not mind readers. If you have the skills yet don’t declare that you do, don’t be surprised when you are not shortlisted. Ensure that you highlight and feature all the skills that they are looking for. If they do a quick skim of your CV and can immediately see the relevant keywords and competencies they are seeking, you have done a good job! This is why it is essential that you tailor your CV to suit every job you apply for – each job has its own criteria and skill requirements after all.
Focus on the Employer
Whilst of course you want to get that job for ‘you’ and for your benefit, an employer wants to fill that job for theirs. Make sure that in your CV you are stressing how you can be an asset to them – how you can add value to their organisation. Whilst your career aspirations are of course important, if your CV continually reiterates how you will benefit from securing this job, you are failing to address the benefits for the employer, and they won’t necessarily appreciate that.
Provide the Proof
It’s very easy and admittedly somewhat lazy to simply list all your job duties on your CV just as they appear on your job description. However, the reality is that this tells an employer nothing about you as an individual. It simply lets them know what someone in that particular role does on a daily basis. Make sure that you include proven examples of things that you have done – be that achievements in targets or training or whatever. It is essential that you let them see how you have been an asset to your previous employers, and by providing concrete examples, you are going some way to doing just that.
If every candidate for a job had the same qualifications and the same work experience, how could an employer possibly distinguish between them? It’d be a pretty impossible task. When applying for a job, you have to imagine that this is the case – that all other candidates have just the same experience and qualifications as you, and then you have to figure out how you could stand out if that was the case. What else can you offer them? How can you convince them that you are better than the rest? Selling yourself on your CV means presenting yourself in the best way possible – your strengths, your skills, your abilities. In an interview you may be asked “Why should we hire you?” and have several minutes to answer; with your CV, you have literally seconds to get your point across. Don’t waste this opportunity.
We hope that these tips go some way to helping you sell yourself on your CV.
One more thing…Happy Selling!
CV ready to go? Why not send it to the professionals and get a free CV review before you send it to the employer or recruiter?