The importance of a good CV in your job search activities should never be underestimated. It, above all else will determine where you go next in your job seeking journey. If it serves its purpose, you will be shortlisted for interview, if not, then you’ll unfortunately get one of those “We regret to inform you…” letters – if you get a response at all that is! It’s important to remember that even the best CVs need to be updated and need a little tweak now and again. If your CV needs just that, these basic tips on how to handle a CV makeover should help.
Get rid of irrelevant content
If this is your first CV, then including that week’s work experience at your local vet’s practice is probably worth it, however if you’ve left school a long time ago, then it’s probably not. Basically, your CV is a selling tool for you and therefore should be filled with details of all the relevant skills, experience and achievements that make you the right candidate for the job you are applying for. Recruiters and hiring managers make their decision pretty quickly upon looking at a CV, therefore if you fill it with irrelevant content, they will decide pretty quickly that you’re not what they’re looking for.
Make your CV Results Focused
If your CV looks quite bland and reads like a list of job descriptions, you are probably doing yourself a disservice. Whilst it is important to include the key duties that you undertook in your various roles, it is also important to highlight what distinguishes you as a candidate. Highlight particular achievements, results and accomplishments that you achieved within your roles. Regional Sales Rep of the month? Let them know! Selected for a fast track Management Development scheme? Do tell! These areas are more likely to impress an employer and thereby help get you shortlisted for interview.
Do use keywords
With more and more employers using online methods for recruitment, chances are they use quite online systems for shortlisting. They more than likely will have particular keywords or buzz words that they are looking for on a CV. If said words don’t appear, then when they do their online searches, your CV will never appear on their list of search results. The clues will always be in the job spec or job advertisement. Make sure you refer to that and then incorporate the most relevant and essential keywords in your CV.
Grammar and spellings matter
When you’ve been working at a CV for a while, it is easy to become blind to typos, spelling or grammar mistakes. Always make sure that you use a spell check function or get someone else to look over it. In fact – preferably do both! After all, spell checkers do not always pick up on errors. In essence, even a little error on a CV can be a make or break factor on whether you get shortlisted for a job, therefore you should never underestimate the importance of spelling and grammar.
Don’t reveal all
Yes – a CV is there to tell an employer all about you. However it should still leave them wanting to find out more. Make sure that you use your CV as a way of showcasing what you are about – your skills, your achievements, your experience but that you still leave the employer curious to find out more. Do that and do it properly and you will get shortlisted for interview. A CV in a sense is like a trailer – the interview is the full movie!
We hope that these basic tips on how to handle a CV makeover, will be of some help.
Got any other tips that you’d like to share? Why not let us know via the comments section below?