Competition in the job market is fierce. On average, 40 people apply for every single job advertisement and whilst the latest CIPD research suggests nearly half these applicants could do the job - only a handful make it through the CV stage. Are you confident your CV is a world beater? If you need a CV template to power you in front of your competitors and make it through to interview, then follow these simple but effective CV tips.
1. Presentation Like your best interview suit, your CV needs to look the part and scream success. Have a simple CV template that’s easy to read, no more than 2 sides of A4 paper, with a mini personal profile at the top of the first page. Don’t forget the ‘CV hotspot’. This is typically the upper middle area of the first page and is where the employer’s eye will naturally fall; your most important and relevant information for the role should be here. Hit them with it.
2. The basics CVs haven’t changed much since they were invented. There’s a reason.
The basic structure works. Make sure your CV includes
• Personal and contact information
• Work history and/ or experience
• Relevant skills to the job you’re applying for
• Education and qualifications
• Personal interests, achievements and hobbies
• References Although you may wish to, you no longer have to include your date of birth. Photos should never be included unless you’re an actor or model – in which case you’ll probably need to add one in.
3. Tailor your CV No two jobs are exactly the same. Every employer has his or her own personal wish list. Put simply they know what CV they’re looking for – the trick is to guess their requirements and tailor yours accordingly. Fortunately, the job ad will give you some clues as to what to emphasise. Even small tweaks, if they are well thought out – will make all the difference. Many employers are now adopting digital software to automatically search for certain keywords such as mandatory requirements listed on the job description. Two minutes tailoring will help push your CV to the top of the pile
4. Make the most of your skills Be bold but honest. This is the time to blow your own trumpet and talk about your wins. Don’t embellish the truth, but do showcase all of your achievements to date against the job spec. Make sure you promote your transferable skills as well, even though you may not have all the direct experience, you can adapt skills you have acquired through different jobs to ensure a relevant and proactive looking CV.
5. Say it like it is On a similar note, when you’re highlighting your skills and relevant experience, adopt a confident approach. Try to avoid generalisations and sweeping statements, but be proud of your achievements to date and the skills you have acquired.
6. Check, check and check again After you've written your winning CV, check it through the next day with a fresh pair of eyes. If you have a trusted friend or colleague, ask them to read through too. The last thing you want is to create a great CV which goes straight in the bin because of a ‘misteak’
7. Keep it up to date Your CV should be a reflection of you; how you would describe yourself today may change and therefore, so should your CV. It’s easy to become outdated as the world moves at increasing pace. Dust off your CV regularly, whether you’re actively looking or not. Wins are easy to remember and promote at the time, rather than a few months or years later. So update your CV regularly with any new skills or experience that you have gained. By following our CV template, these seven tips will increase your chances of success with a world beating CV – that beats your competition in the job market too.
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