For those of you who don’t know, before I went full-time with my blog and youtube channel I spent 5 years in recruitment across a number of sectors. It was my job to connect people with their dream jobs and one of the ways we did this was a killer CV. Having a good CV could be the difference between getting noticed or not in a sea of applications or being picked out or scrolled passed on a job board full of candidates looking for work.
There are loads of CV templates you can download online and we all remember the basic CV building classes we got when nearing the end of our school years but these 5 tips I’m about to give you come from years of experience on the other side looking at CV’s day in, day out. This post isn’t just a checklist of what you need on that important piece of paper, it’s a look into the mind and daily life of the person who’s reading your CV for you to use to your best advantage and land that dream job.
- Get To The Point: Recruiters are busy people, we often have strict deadlines for finding candidates and hundreds of CV’s to choose from. Avoid long paragraphs and wordy introductions and get straight to the point – make it easy for them to find the information they need without waffling and even putting certain keywords in bold.
- Ditch the Personal Interests Bit: It’s great that you have an adorable dog and that you like going to the cinema at the weekends but this isn’t match.com and that information isn’t going to help you get a job. THINK – do you really need it? If not, delete.
- What Do You Want: It’s great if you have all the skills and experience required for that job in legal administration, but if you’re looking for a change of career then you’re wasting everyone’s time by not writing fown what you want. Make a note of which job you’re looking for to help your recruiter know if your CV is worth pursuing with a call – you can always write down more than one career path if you’re not 100% sure which direction you’d like to go.
- Recruiters Aren’t Experts: Understand that while your recruiter is excellent at matching people to roles and pitching in candidates to companies they’re not always experts in your particular fields. In one job I was recruiting senior IT specialists for my client, and while I know the basics of IT a lot of my job required looking for keywords in candidates CV’s and matching them to the job spec if they fit the bill. Keep things simple and think about which keywords a recruiter may be looking for in your skill set.
- Give useful information: Use tables and bullet points to highlight key skills and responsibilities – all of these techniques will help your recruiter find information quickly and assess if you’re right for the job. Try a table with skills you’ve gained from your job and write your experience level next to it eg. Copy Writing – 7 Years – Advanced, or Microsoft Excel – 5 Years – Intermediate. Think about which skills you’ll need for your dream job and pick those out in your own experience. Don’t forget any qualifications you have that might be required for the job role you’re looking for.
As a general rule of thumb information on your CV should flow something like this:
Name, Town & Postcode, Email Address, Phone Number
Mini statement about your experience and what you’re looking for – no longer than three lines – eg. Amelia is a Luxury Lifestyle Blogger with 7 years experience in the field of blogging and social media management looking for a career in… .
Your key skills and qualifications table or bullet points
Work Experience (most recent job first) with job role, time spent in the role, company and up to 5 bullet points of your responsibilities
Education – Uni, A Levels and GCSE’s if relevant.
References – Available Upon Request
If you’re struggling to create your CV and really don’t know where to start my advice would be to fill in the CV flow above and ‘just write something’. Once you’ve got words on paper you can go through my top 5 tips and adjust your information to fit – it’s always easier to perfect something once you’ve actually got content to work with.
What are your top tips for writing a great CV?
Leave them below or tweet me @xameliax! #CVtips
If you know someone who’s looking for a new job make sure to click share and help them get noticed with a kick ass CV!