If ‘Find a new job’ is at the top of your to-do list this year then it’s time to get your CV in order. Your CV is a hiring manager’s first impression of you, so you need to make sure it’s a good one! Follow the nine tips below and you’ll be well on your way to bagging the job of your dreams.
1) Decide what you’re looking for…
Before you begin compiling your CV you need to decide what it is you’re looking for. It doesn’t need to be too specific, however having an idea of the direction you want to take your career in will help you write a more compelling CV. For example, if you’re looking to step up in to a management position keep that in mind when you begin to write or update your CV as you want that to come across clearly to the employer.
2) Tailor your CV to the job you’re applying for
One of the most important elements of writing a successful CV is tailoring it to the job you’re applying for. So once you’ve found a role you need to look carefully at what the employer is hoping to find. For example in the job description they may state that they want someone with “a track record of successfully leading a team”. If you have that experience then make sure you make that clear. You should never rely on a hiring manager finding key information hidden within lots of unnecessary text as it simply won’t happen.
3) Highlight your current role
You should really dedicate a good amount of space, roughly half a page, to your role and responsibilities in your current position. Though an employer will be interested in previous roles and how your career has developed, they will be most interested in what you’re doing right now. Showcase your achievements and abilities, paying attention to how they relate to the role you’re applying for. If your current position isn’t as relevant as older positions, or if you haven’t been there a long time then don’t worry. Still highlight how the role relates, and put a little extra emphasis on your previous role.
4) Keep your achievements tangible
If you’ve increased productivity by an estimated 35% then tell the employer! If you’ve achieved a perfect attendance record or handled an account worth over £1 million then tell the employer that too. Hiring managers like to see tangible results as it helps them to separate one CV from the other. It makes your achievements more convincing and realistic and demonstrates that you’re a candidate that they just have to meet.
5) Tell the truth
It’s very tempting to lie our way in to an interview, especially if we feel we could easily do the job! However it’s so important that you tell the truth on your CV. Instead of lying or exaggerating your experience, think hard about what you have achieved in your role. You might have successfully handled diﬃcult employees or started a new initiative. No matter how small the achievement it will mean more than an achievement you’ve lied about that could trip you up further down the line!
6) Don’t go on and on…
A CV ideally shouldn’t be any longer than two sides of A4. If you’re very experienced and you feel you need more space to showcase everything you’ve done then just try to highlight what’s important. Also don’t provide unnecessary details such as martial status as it wastes space and simply won’t matter to an employer. Use a neat and simple layout that allows a good amount of text but won’t overwhelm the reader. Breaking up the sections will help the information flow and make it much more digestible.
7) Explain the gaps
Gaps on your CV are often inevitable, it might be due to redundancy or perhaps raising a family. Rather than simply hoping a recruiter doesn’t notice you should briefly explain the gaps in your employment. You don’t need to be ashamed of any time you’ve had away from work, whatever the reason may be. However hiring managers can sometimes get suspicious if gaps in employment aren’t explained as they can feel like the candidate is trying to hide something, so be sure to explain why.
8) Get your online presence in order
As well as your CV you should no longer underestimate the power of social media and how that can be accessed by any potential employers. Employers are highly likely to look you up on LinkedIn for example so ensure that your CV and LinkedIn profile are in harmony, especially around dates and job titles. It’s also a chance for you to showcase more of your abilities by asking for endorsements from people you’ve worked with previously.
9) Check your spelling and grammar!
It might seem like a minor point but getting the spelling and grammar right on your CV is so important. We speak to recruiters regularly who will dismiss a candidate for errors on their CV, even if the role doesn’t involve report writing. It can show the recruiter that you have poor attention to detail or give the impression that you’ve rushed the application. So if you’re not too strong on spelling and grammar then ask a friend to check over it for you!
Good luck! If you need any help in your job search get in touch. Here at CNM Recruitment we specialise in Built Environment recruitment across Yorkshire and the North of England. We’d love to help you find that next step.