Print is globally one of the biggest industries; therefore, it has one of the biggest workforces. Although Print professions vary in skill and requirement, there are critical elements any CV being used to apply for a job in the industry must contain. Ambitions Personnel's Managing Director, Mandy Watson, provides ten top tips to help guide you through the process of writing that all-important CV.
CVs for vacancies in the Print Industry should still follow the basic CV rules.
There should be no more than 2 pages of A4 used, even electronically.
Structure content into relevant sections, for example, Personal Profile, Work History, Education.
Make sure the font size is between 10-12 points.
Demonstrating spatial awareness and attention to detail is really key for print CVs, as most jobs in this industry require these skills.
Candidates applying for design jobs may feel tempted to use their CVs to demonstrate their creative skills. However, a recruiter wants to be able to quickly review a document and easily ascertain if a candidate is suitable for their vacant role.
Visually, the most important aspect of any CV is that it looks well-structured and professional.
A portfolio is an opportunity for an applicant to showcase their talent and skills. When applying for a creative print role a link to a portfolio of work should be included on the CV.
Applicants should ensure that all portfolios are up-to-date and easily accessible for a recruiter to review.
Tailoring is the most crucial aspect of any CV. However, this can take longer than usual to perfect.
A CV should reflect that an applicant has identified the core requirements of their desired job by providing relevant details on previous work experience, skills and qualifications.
“One size does NOT fit all” – and a CV should be tailored for every individual application, even if they are all in the print industry. A potential employer is only concerned with the exact role they are recruiting for, not their competitors.
This is digital tailoring, whereby an applicant consciously uses keywords in their CV to increase its optimisation in an online job site’s search engine or an ATS (Applicant Tracking System).
Search engines and ATS (Applicant Tracking System) streamline recruitment processes. These tools manage and filter CVs based on the vacancy’s requirements. The CVs with the most keywords will be the most visible; therefore the most likely to be reviewed.
6. Industry Knowledge
When describing their previous Print experience, candidates should be specific about what exact products, software or machinery they have used before. This makes it far easier for a recruiter to align them to a role. Even down to the make, model and version of the equipment or machinery.
Listing a job in print may sound specific; however, it's important a print applicant describes the different products and materials they have experience using.
Use words wisely. And while a CV should be concise and to the point – it also doesn’t want to be a stream of single-word bullet points. If you’re listing skills, equipment and duties, ensure they relate to a specific job or qualification.
Include a personal profile between 3 and 6 lines, outlining your current job or situation, and future career ambitions. A personal profile is really pertinent for candidates in the early stages of their working life or for those changing career.
Print candidates seeking graphic-centric or print processing roles will need to highlight their hard skills on their CVs, i.e. their technical ability to do the job and equipment experience.
An applicant pursuing a managerial role in the industry will need to highlight their soft skills, fundamentally their interpersonal, communication and leadership skills.
A candidate applying for a semi-skilled role should highlight their transferable skills. Print is notoriously ever-changing and fast-paced, so a candidate applying for any role within the industry should highlight their adaptability and capability to meet strict deadlines.
Even if a print job doesn’t require excellent written skills, it is crucial to ensure the CV is typo-free and thoroughly proofed. An applicant should get as many eyes on their CV as possible before sending it out. Online tools like Grammarly are free and easily downloadable.
Typos indicate a lack of effort and will deter recruiters.
10. Cover Letter
If an application provides the opportunity to submit a cover letter, a candidate should always take it. It’s an opportunity to be more personal and passionate; therefore, provide the recruiter with a better insight into the applicant as a person, as they’ll be analysing applicants as cultural fits too.
While it must be formal, polite and typo-free, a cover letter can explain in greater detail why an applicant is a perfect fit for a role and what they can bring to a company.