A well-crafted and beautifully presented CV isn’t enough on its own to ensure that you get the job you want. But it certainly opens doors.
Keep in mind that recruiters will be looking through tens, if not hundreds, of CVs at a time, so make sure that yours stands out from the crowd. You have around five seconds to create a good impression, so your CV needs to be easy on the eye and arranged in a logical format.
In fact, your CV is such an essential document that you should ask someone with a good eye for detail to cast their eye over it before you even consider sending it out into the wider world. Grammatical errors and typos won’t create the right impression and could even cost you the opportunity of an interview, so this is extremely important.
Information to include on your CV
Think of your CV as your own personal advertisement. But you will need to adapt and fine-tune it according to each role that you’re applying for. A one-size-fits-all approach won’t necessarily bring the best results, so before sending it out, check to see what alterations you could make to make it more appealing for the specific job on offer.
However, there are some aspects of your CV that won’t change. For example, no matter what role you’re applying for, you should start by setting out your name, address and contact details including your email address. It sounds basic, but it’s surprising just how many candidates forget to include these points, immediately ruling themselves out for interview in the process!
Next, your CV should be broken down into sections, which should always include the following details:
- Your personal statement.
This should be a brief paragraph detailing why the employer should pick you for the job that’s being offered. Always tailor this section according to the role you’re chasing, highlighting reasons why you’d be a great fit for the position.
- Your skillset.
This is another part of your CV that needs to be adjusted for every role you apply for. Read through the job description carefully and include any relevant skills you have that match up with the organisation’s needs. This is the part of your CV where you should highlight your star quality, showing that you’d be a perfect fit for the job being offered.
- Work history.
This doesn’t have to be lengthy, but it should include details of your previous jobs, pointing out any goals you’ve achieved and obstacles that you’ve overcome. If this is to be your first job, you should use this section of your CV to include voluntary work or projects that you’ve tackled. Anything that demonstrates your abilities and suitability as a candidate needs to be noted down here.
- Educational background.
Highlight your qualifications and educational achievements in this section, but don’t make the mistake of thinking that a good degree will be enough to win you an interview. You’ll need to be seen as a good fit for the company, which should be demonstrated throughout your CV.
Make your CV appealing to employers
Recruiters are on the lookout for candidates who will fit quickly and easily into the role, team and the company. This means that you’ll need to demonstrate the ability to learn new skills - fast. But trustworthiness, initiative and the ability to communicate clearly and effectively are also essential, so try to show that you possess these skills.
Adapting your CV according to the position you’re applying for is far more likely to win you an interview than simply sending out the same generic CV for every position you apply for. It’ll take time and effort, but the results are worth it.