Writing a good CV can be one of the toughest challenges when searching for a job. Most employers might spend just a few seconds scanning each CV before making a decision on whether to invite them for an interview or not.
Procurement PeopleCloud® have put together a few tips to keep in mind when writing your CV.
Include a personal statement
Don’t assume a potential employer will see how your experience relates to the job they are hiring for. Instead, use a short (100 words) personal statement to explain why you think you are the best person for the job. Make it personal to each job description.
Keep it brief
Traditionally a CV should be no more than two pages of A4 paper, single sided! A potential employer might spend, on average, just 8 seconds looking at a CV, and a surefire way of landing yourself on the no pile is to send them your entire life story. Save the details for the interview!
Don’t leave gaps
Although we have said to keep your CV to just two pages that doesn’t mean to cut out all your experience. Leaving obvious gaps on your employment history immediately makes employers suspicious – and they won’t give you the benefit of the doubt. If you’ve been out of work it can be a worry but just put a positive spin on it. Add in information about whether you did a course, volunteer work or develop soft skills such as communication, teamwork or project management? You don’t have to write paragraphs on your role in each job. If it isn’t relevant just put the basic information, role, company and date range.
Do your maths
This may sound obvious but back up your achievements with numbers this makes selling yourself much easier. So for example, when writing your work history, don’t just say that you increased sales; tell them you increased sales by 70% over a six month period.
We’ve all done it a hundred times! Sent the same CV out to lots of employers to save time… DON’T DO IT! Take the time to change your CV for each role that you apply for. Research the company and role your are applying too and make sure you highlight any relevant experience you have had which you think will benefit the company and role.
Keep it up to date!
You should always keep your CV up-to-date whether you’re looking for a job or not. Every time something new happens in your career, record it so you don’t later forget something that could be important. It will also save you time should you need to use it.
Lies on your CV can land you in trouble when it comes to employers checking your background and references. The last thing you want is to start work and then lose your new job for lying. You also may get caught out at the interview stage when you suddenly can’t answer questions on what you claim to know. If you need to lie on your CV then the job probably isn’t right for you.
Employers DO look for mistakes on CVs and if they find them, it makes you look really bad. If an employer receives hundreds of CV’s for one job they might scan a CV for mistakes so they have an excuse to shorten the list of applicants. If you’re unsure then use a spellchecker and ask someone else to double-check what you’ve written.
Make it look good
You have taken all that time to write your CV now take some time to make it look good and stand out from the crowd. Use bullet points and keep sentences short. Use the graphic design trick of leaving plenty of white space around text and between categories to make the layout easy on the eye.
Make it keyword friendly
In this digital world you need to ensure that you have every chance of getting your CV seen. If you’ve uploaded your CV to a job site so recruiters can find you, keywords are very important. Job titles and job buzzwords will help a search engine pick out your CV from the pile. If you’re not sure, have a search online and see what words are commonly mentioned when you input your job title then try and incorporate them into your CV. But make sure it makes sense.