Preparing Your CV
Just because a product is fantastic, it will not sell if a company makes a half-hearted attempt to get it to market. You know your CV can have just 10 seconds to prove your interview worth and first impressions will determine your fate.
These CV Tips are supplied by our recommended CV writing partner The Fuller CV, the UK’s largest and most popular professional CV writing company. We have put together some useful hints and tips regarding your CV so you can improve your own document and beat your competition. This help has been supplied by our professional CV writers and will provide you with an insight in how recruiters see your CVs.
It is important that your CV attracts the widest audience possible so try to avoid specific terminology that recruiters and employers outside of your current marketplace will not understand. Try to avoid a key skills section as these skills are purely theoretical. Recruiters would much rather see how you utilise these skills in a working environment with quantifiable examples of success.
It is very important that you keep the document to two full pages and no more. Avoid showing large bodies of text giving examples of your responsibilities. Most recruiters and potential employers will not have the time to be able to read and digest this amount of information quickly. This is your sales brochure and should where possible avoid being too technical as it may not be a technical person that initially reads your CV. Your audience is more interested in how you have used your technical skills in the work environment and how you combine your technical skills with your commercial acumen to significantly add value to the business.
With as little as 10 seconds to impress the recruiter it will need to sell you!. If you wrote a company sales brochure, you would consider the first page the prime selling position. Likewise you must prioritise the content of your CV, detailing the salient points of most interest to your reader first. Recruiters know 80% of CVs contain lies, so assume they think the worst of yours. Counteract this by building credibility into your CV and we suggest you reflect this by qualifying and quantifying results.
Your CV has little to do with your past but should instead reflect your future potential. Your CV should reflect specific targeted content to sell you effectively to employers. For example, you should say how you will use your transferable skills in your next position.
Your ability to secure a more desirable job depends on how well you can translate your achievements and transferable skills into a clear benefit for your audience.
Employers are most interested in seeing how you have made specific, measurable, personal differences rather than reading your job description.
Your CV should always market you effectively. It needs to be self-oriented, to spell out how your skills and traits will benefit your next employer. You need to reflect your specific, personal contribution towards delivering consistent achievements for your employer.
Your ability to secure a more desirable position will depend more on how well you can translate your employment record, skills set, working style and credentials into a clear benefit for your readers.
Profile summary sections are common in CVs, but they add little sales punch to warrant the space taken. You should either give evidence of success within this section or delete this section and launch directly into the core positions of your sales pitch.
What employers most want to know is what’s in it for them, and you need to reflect this in your document.You should have an achievements section in which you can showcase each of your specific transferable skills and show how you are going to benefit your audience. Employers will want to know how specifically your work has been excellent or successful and how that in turn impacted on your employers operating results for the better. Do not just reflect your job description as you need to sell yourself to get interview responses.
Your aim is to include, not exclude, the reader, so cut out the jargon and clarify where necessary. Just because you have done a job for so many months or years means nothing: what counts is results. Your duties are not results and what sells you are your achievements. Achievements are the best way of reflecting how good you are so demonstrate your unique contribution to a company.
If someone has to re-read something or cannot retain the information without having to refer back to the document then the CV is not capturing the reader’s attention. Choose active rather than passive verbs, keep the CV to two pages or less and highlight your transferable skills and achievements. A CV should stand out on its own so it is not necessary to resort to tacky techniques of different colours, logos and fonts. Use one font size throughout and keep the layout professional and easy to read as your readers are far more interested in the content than they are its appearance.