Not landing that interview? Maybe you need to rethink your CV.
We asked a team of experienced recruiters to share their top tips to help you stand out from the crowd. Here’s what they had to say…
- Tailor your CV
What are you applying for? Read and try to understand the advert. If it says you’ll need customer service experience, make sure ‘customer service experience’ appears in your CV. If it doesn’t, don’t expect to be offered an interview.
It sounds a little like keyword bingo, but recruiters look for key things within your CV and they tell you what those key things are in the advert they write.
- Avoid unnecessary personal information
You only want a recruiter or potential employer to judge you by your skills and experience. That means (unless otherwise asked for) avoid including things like photos, marital status, date of birth or gender. Stick with the important stuff.
QUICK NOTE: Having said that, REMEMBER TO INCLUDE YOUR CONTACT DETAILS. Some people still forget!
- Start with your most recent roles first
Recruiters don’t want to trawl through a list of Saturday jobs before they get to the relevant stuff (unless your Saturday job is your most recent, in which case that’s fine!)
Always start with your most recent role and work backwards. Again, review the content within each job for every application. You may have dealt with customers on the phone in a previous role (but forgot to mention it in your CV) if the job you’re applying for is in a contact centre, pop it in your experience. Your previous experience will help you stand out.
- Avoid too many buzzwords and CV clichés
“Thinking outside the box” doesn’t necessarily get you inside the interview room. There are many buzzwords and clichés which are so overused they’ve lost all meaning. “Hard working” and “works well in a team and as an individual” should go without saying. Would a CV ever say the opposite, “Lazy and don’t work well in either a team or on my own”?
- Keep it brief
If Elon Musk can fit his CV on 1 page, so can you. However, 1 page may be a stretch, and we’re not all Elon Musk. 2 pages should be sufficient though. The reason to keep it short is to make sure that everything you say has an impact.
- Tell us what you’ve done
While brevity is important, don’t forget to describe what you actually did. Sometimes a job title alone just won’t cut it, we need some tangible evidence.
This links with point number one; use this description to show how you match the criteria.
A few bonus points!
- Check your spelling! (Psst, it’s spelt ‘Curriculum Vitae’)
- Keep your layout and font clear and consistent. No crazy fonts or colours, please!
- Writing in the third person is just… weird.
These tips should set you on course to write a great CV, and a great CV can get you to the next stage of a recruitment process, which is usually ‘The Interview’.
For tips on the all-important interview, stayed tuned for our next blog!