How to Write a Career Spinning CV
Simple Tips for Creating a Successful CV
There is usually one major thing between you and your dream job: your CV.
How you present yourself on paper (or electronically these days) is the first impression you make on the people who are potentially your future employers. We have looked at what employers don’t want to see on CVs.
Now we give you some tips on how to make that first glimpse into who you are, and what you can offer a good one.
Short and sweet – Did you know that recruiters spend as little as eight seconds looking at a CV? The quickest way your CV will land at the bottom of the pile, or even in the bin, is to tell them your life story. Make it punchy, to the point and a maximum of two pages.
Be specific – Tailor your CV to each role you send it to. Although this may seem a tad dishonest, it is actually just a matter of pointing out the skills you have that they are looking for. Most companies will appreciate the effort.
Make an opening statement or summary – Open your CV with a quick overview of what you do and who you are. Start by stating your profession and how much experience you have (unless you don’t have any). For example, ‘Highly dynamic sales executive with 12 years’ experience in the media industry’. Follow this by highlighting some of your strengths that are relevant to the role you are applying for.
Watch out for time gaps – If you have sizable gaps between roles employers will immediately become suspicious. If you were out of work, spin it in a positive way. Perhaps you did a course during this time, developed some soft skills or even did volunteer work. If so, put it on your CV instead of leaving a gaping hole that may make employers apprehensive.
Make sure it is current – Whether you are looking for work or not, keep your CV up to date. Every time something changes, record it. You never know what you have forgotten, or when your circumstances will change and you will need your CV.
Spelling and grammar – Even if the advertised role does not require you have impeccable spelling and grammar, employers often use errors as an excuse to get rid of CVs when they are facing large volumes of applications. Use a spellchecker or ask somebody to go over it.
Be honest – Blatant lies on your CV can cause a lot of trouble for you. You could get caught out during the interview when you can’t answer questions about what you claim to know, or worse you could start working and eventually lose your job for lying.
Put some numbers in – You don’t have to be a mathematician to make numbers work for you. If you say you have increased sales, it could mean by 1%. If you say you increased sales by 68% over a six month period, it is far more impressive.
Format – Image is everything these days, and this also applies to CVs. Take time to work on your layout. Make it clean, clear and easy to read. Keep sentences short, use bullet points and leave some white space around sections.