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Making your CV work for you

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Lizzie Tasker Blog, Tips, Recruitment...

The job market is more competitive than ever. The widespread use of online job boards mean that employers are receiving more CVs than ever before. With this increased competition, it can be very disappointing to hear that perhaps you haven’t even been invited for an interview. It is therefore crucial that your CV stands out, for all the right reasons!

Your CV, along with a cover letter or email, is the very first opportunity you have to market yourself to the potential recruiter. Statistics show that recruiters may spend as little as 6 seconds reviewing each CV they receive, so you need to make the right impression.

Firstly, it is important to remember that the main aim of a CV is to generate enough interest to secure you an interview. Keep it punchy and to the point; avoid using any elaborate templates, graphics or unusual fonts so at first glance it looks clean and easy on the eye.

Do not fall into the trap of continually adding your most recent job to the same document. As your career evolves, remove out of date or irrelevant information. For example, is it really necessary to include that newspaper round you had whilst you were at school? Or do you really need to list every single subject and grade achieved at school?

Here at Ambitions Personnel, whilst we don’t offer a CV writing service, our consultants know what a good CV looks like and can offer you hints, tips and guidance in order to ensure you secure the job you deserve.

Here are our top tips for writing a job magnet:

  • Keep it clearly written and concise

  • Use a bullet point format and avoid too much blocked text

  • Tailor the CV for each vacancy/organisation you’re applying to

  • Highlight particularly relevant skills and experience to reflect the vacancy

  • Go back three jobs or ten years only

  • When detailing career history and education, put these in chronological order – starting with the most recent

  • Check, check and check again for mistakes (even better, get someone else to read it for you!) – including misspellings, conflicting dates/gaps and incorrect contact details

  • The finished document should be in a simple format that’s easy on the eye and easy to read

  • Generally speaking, your CV should be 2 pages in length, in a font of no less than 10pts and no more than 12pts

  • Your CV should do you justice, so take enough space to ‘sell’ yourself; employers are interested to read about any of your key achievements and success. Think about what sets you apart from the rest!

  • Remember your CV may be the last one of the day – make it the best one!