Top Ten Steps to a Successful CV

One of the toughest challenges when it comes to job hunting is creating a standout CV.

Most employers spend only a few seconds scanning each CV before putting it in the ‘Yes’ or ‘No’ pile.

Here are the 10 top tips for writing a CV that will help you to secure that all important interview.

1. Keep it real!

Generally, your CV should be no more than two A4 pages long. Employers spend typically 8 seconds looking at any one CV, and a fool proof way to get yourself landed into the no pile is to send them your entire life story.

To ensure this doesn’t happen, keep your CV punchy, to the point, and save those niggly in-depth details for the interview.

2. Tailor it

We are all guilty of it…

Sending the same CV out to different employers to help save time. This is a big mistake! You must take the time out to change/edit your CV to suit each job you are applying for. You should research the company and use the job advert to figure out exactly what skills you should highlight to them. The employer will notice this and appreciate the obvious effort.

3. Introduce a personal statement

Don’t expect the employer to see how your experience related to the job they are advertising. Instead, use a short personal statement to outline why you are the perfect fit for the job. This should also be reflected in your cover letter.

4. Don’t leave gaps

We can be a cynical bunch and leaving noticeable gaps on your CV can cause employers to be apprehensive and may not give you the benefit of the doubt. If you have been out of work, it can be a worry for employers but just put a positive take on it. Did you go back to college? Did you do a course? Volunteer work, or develop any soft skills such as teamwork, communication, etc. If so, let the employer know.

5. Keep it current

You should be updating your CV constantly even if you are not actively looking for a job. Any time something momentous occurs in your career, record it! I’ve if only something small. It could be the difference between you getting your dream job or not.

6. The error of your ways

Grammar! Is one of the most commonly overlooked issues on CV’s, employers DO look for these and grammatical errors on your CV can reflect badly on you. Be sure to use a spellchecker and/or ask someone else to double check what you’ve written.

7. Tell the truth

But everyone lies on their CV, no? No! Blatant lies on your CV can lead to a whole bundle of trouble when it comes to employers checking your references and background. The last thing you want to happen is to lose your new job straight off the bat. You may also get caught out during the interview stage when you are suddenly asked a question on something you claim to know.

8. The maths

You may consider it a little cringy but, backing up any of your achievements with numbers can help you sell yourself to employers. Rather than just saying that you increased sales, tell the employer by how much you increased the sales and in what period. Big numbers are especially good but remember, tell the truth!

9. Make it look good

Unfortunately, we live in a world where image is everything and that also applies to your CV as this is the first thing an employer sees. So, take the time to pretty it up. Keep your sentences short and use bullet points when possible. Leave plenty of white space around text and between categories to make your CV easy on the eyes.

10. Make it keyword friendly

If you are uploading your CV to any job sites for example, Indeed or so recruiters can find you, keywords are very important. Job titles and buzzwords will help the search engine pick out your CV from the pile. Sound confusing? It’s not, using words that relate to the type of job you are looking for can help. For example, a marketing candidate might mention social media, direct marketing or SEO in their experience and skills. If you’re not too sure what words to add have a search online and see what words are commonly mentioned when you input your job title.