When it comes to applying for a job role, often your first chance to make a great impression lies in a carefully considered and well-constructed CV. Done wrong, however, and you run the risk of being entirely overlooked or remembered for all the wrong reasons. Here we will outline a number of ways to get your CV noticed in the right way and improve your chances of being invited to that all-important interview.
Things to include in your CV
Whilst it may seem obvious, we have come across this issue so many times. When a candidate forgets to include contact details on their CV, the effort you have put into completing the rest of your CV becomes futile. We recommend your contact details should be placed neatly, underneath your name and at the beginning of your CV.
Your profile should consist of a short paragraph that provides a brief overview of your relevant experience and skills, as well as the personal attributes you can bring to the role and your career aims. Don’t forget that employers will be analysing countless CVs, so try and avoid cliché phrases that they are likely to read time and time again such as ‘I am hardworking and enthusiastic’.
Education and qualifications
Each job will have some certain criteria, so ensure your education section clearly highlights that you meet this criterion, working backwards in chronological order. The higher in qualifications you have, the more detail you may want to include. Say for example if you have completed a degree course, you might include relevant modules. Of course, if a job specifies you need to have a grade C or higher in GCSE Mathematics, then you must include specific grades, even if you have higher qualifications to include.
You may find it more concise to divide your past experience into two sections, ‘relevant experience’ and ‘further experience’ so that employers are able to quickly identify that you indeed have the experience necessary for the role you are applying for. Your relevant experience section should be the most detailed, briefly outlining your role, responsibilities and how long you were employed there.
More often than not this section is not included in CVs but can add real value in the eyes of an employer for a deeper insight into how well you would fit into a role. Your key skills can include relevant software packages (e.g. Microsoft Office, Adobe Photoshop, etc.), through to analytical skills and foreign languages. It is a great idea to include very brief examples to evidence where these skills have been demonstrated in your working life.
Some CV musts
- A successful CV should be around two sides of A4, its purpose is to be clear and concise as to why you would be the perfect fit for a role. Those longer than two sides may not be as concise as employers would like to see
- Your CV should also be altered each time you apply for a different role to ensure that it is relevant to the specific job description
- Read and re-read your CV prior to sending to an employer, checking for spelling and grammatical errors
- Include a cover letter unless stated otherwise, this will provide further opportunity to highlight your experience with much more detailed examples
Are you in search of a new role, but not sure if your CV is up to scratch? Talk to our expert team at Foresight Solutions for guidance on how you can achieve your dream job.