Your CV is your very own self-marketing tool. If you’re looking to get hired, you’d better improve your CV. If you can’t connect with a prospective employer, what hope do you have in reaching out to the wider world?
Your CV is your chance to show you’ve got what it takes to do the job and pique the employer’s interest enough to get you in for that vital interview.
Here are 6 tips to improve your CV:
Presentation – it’s not just what you say, but how you say it. No-one wants to hire someone who can’t spell or does not have a basic grasp of English grammar. Similarly, your CV should look crisp and clean with sufficient white space and an easy-to-read professional looking font. Use black ink on high quality cream or white paper. Always print your CV – never, ever hand write it or bash it out on an archaic typewriter.
Tailoring – study the job specification and the advert and make sure your CV ticks as many boxes as possible. Working out exactly what the employer requires will help you focus your experience and skills on what really matters to them.
Story telling – a chronological list of your education and career history is easy but does not tell a prospective employer a single important thing about you. Outline what you’ve learned from particular experiences and the kind of skills you’ve developed as a result. Be specific about outcomes by detailing the things that changed as a result of your work.
Language – avoid hyperbolic statements, but do consider so-called power words that evoke action and drive. Words like launched, motivated and achieved will point to a go-getter rather than a woolly also-ran.
Web – make the most of the internet. Trawl specialist marketing recruitment sites like Brand Republic Jobs and glean all you can from sections devoted to career advice and what’s happening in the industry. You can usually get help drafting your CV and can even post yours online.
Cover yourself – a covering letter gives you the chance to be explicit about your understanding of the company and the job they (hopefully) want you to do. You can be very specific about how your skills and experience fit the bill and you can point to particular parts of your CV that best demonstrate your suitability for the role. You can even draw attention to supplementary information that does not necessarily fit well into a CV such as explaining personal circumstances or gaps in your CV.
Here are some more tips to improve your CV.