It’s one of the most important documents you’ll ever write. Your CV can show potential employers why you’re worth listening to and help you secure the job of your dreams. But how can you be sure that your CV is to up to scratch? Below, we’ve rounded up five tips for crafting a winning CV that will help you stand out and score job interviews.
Keep it up to date
Sending off an old CV is not only unprofessional, but it puts you at a disadvantage. Make sure that you keep your CV up to date with your latest work placements, university projects and any paid or unpaid work that you land along your professional journey. And, while you may be tempted to leave a job off of your CV that you don’t think is relevant to the industry you’re looking to get into, leaving gaps in your employment history can raise suspicions.
Proof, proof and proof
First impressions count. Sending off a CV with spelling mistakes and grammatical errors just won’t cut it. Double check all of your dates and contact information, such as your telephone number and email address, and ask a friend or colleague to give it the once over for extra reassurance. You could even send off your CV to a proof-reader if you’re unsure it’s correct.
Tailor your CV to the advertisement
While we’re not saying you should copy the skills and specifications from the job role, you can make simple tweaks to your resume such as highlighting key skills that the organisation is looking for and using some of their keywords in your cover letter. If you don’t know where to start your job search, check out the CV Library Vacancies website, where you’ll find vacancies for employment in a range of industries from some of the world’s most respected brands.
Make it easy to read
As Workopolis writes, only 2% of job applications result in an interview. To increase your chances of landing one, you need to make your CV as easy to read and navigate as possible. Your choice of font, layout and file format will all influence whether or not a hiring manager will want to reach out to you, so consider using a CV template and sending your CV in either Word Document or PDF format for maximum compatibility. While you may be tempted to go against the grain to help your application stand out, a simple CV is the most professional.
Focus on your skills, not your experience
Of course, listing your work experience is important, but instead of an emphasis on the brands you used to work for, you should list the skills you have acquired by doing so. Employers want to know how you’ll add value to their brand and why you’d be a better choice than any of the other candidates they’ll be speaking to. If you worked in a supermarket, for example, then list teamwork, handling of cash and customer service as your key skills.
These tips will help you stand out and make a professional first impression when submitting job applications. Don’t forget that you should check your CV for every job application you send it and make changes depending on the job role, skill requirements and industry. A one-size-fits-all CV won’t be as effective at targeting the key pain points of the business, so it makes sense to spend a little longer to demonstrate why you’re the best candidate for the role. After all, it could help you land a new role and climb the career ladder. Good luck!