CV Tips

Gill Buchanan, Pure Resourcing Solutions

There’s no denying it’s a difficult economic climate, but there are things you can do to increase your chances of success in the job market. Your CV  is the first chance to sell yourself to your prospective employer, and you have seconds to make AN IMPACT.  With our advice you will immediately improve your chances of securing that all-important interview.

First, Put your unique profile at the top – a hard-hitting summary of your experience and achievements.  It has to be relevant to the job and show how you make an impact.  Hook your recruiter in to read more.   You may find it best to write it last.

Summarise your education and qualifications - most recent qualifications first. If you have a degree, list this before ‘A’ levels.  Include grades and dates. If you are older, there’s no need to list every course you’ve been on. And list your employment/work experience - dates, location and industry sector. Note any breaks in employment and say what you did e.g. travelling/raising a family. 

Demonstrate the role and responsibility you had for each position.  But don’t use your precious space to summarise your job descriptions!  Review the job specification you’re applying for and ensure you give more space to the most relevant roles. 

Concentrate on your achievements and describe them with positive language such as ‘improved, initiated, established, and developed’. 

Recruiters also love numbers, so state the impact you had and demonstrate it in actual numbers if possible.  Again, select achievements which are relevant – CVs which are constructed with a specific job in mind are much more successful.

Make it easy to skim read.  Recruiters have to scan numerous CVs and you need your key points to stand out to even get through a first sift. Use bullet points rather than paragraphs.  But keep it factual and accurate Recruiters are experienced in spotting lies and you’ll only come unstuck in the interview.

Don’t use more than 2 pages – do a long draft and then cut, and try not to use jargon – avoid the dreaded  A.C.R.O.N.Y.M.s where possible. 

Don’t list a range of irrelevant hobbies. Put them last and keep it brief, and certainly not ‘clubbing’ or going down the pub, unless you’re applying for DJ-ing or something in the off-licence or entertainment business!

Don’t forget to spell check and check grammar.  You look careless and unprofessional and are likely to be out in the first sifting just by having a couple of silly mistakes. A fresh pair of eyes does help 

Don’t over complicate your layout by using different typefaces, decorative fonts and graphics (unless you’re applying for a creative job, we’ll leave that to your creative eye!).  The whole piece needs to look simple and professional.  Use good quality paper if handing it out.

And lastly – make sure you include your contact details on your CV including home address, home and mobile telephone number and email address. You’ll want to make sure that the recruiters know how to beat a path to your door!

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