Competition for jobs in 2012 is tougher than ever with the number of candidates per job increasing alongside the rise in unemployment. Graduates and school leavers in particular are finding it tough to break into the jobs market and get on the first rung of the career ladder, with competition even high for apprenticeships and unpaid internships. Read the latest Young Academic career guide, which focuses on how you can shine in an ever competitive jobs market.
Canvassing CVs is still the most popular way for businesses to shortlist applicants for a new position. The CV gives candidates the opportunity to showcase their skills as well as highlight their achievements and competence.
So how can you ensure that your CV stands out from the crowd? By following these top tips, you will go some way to letting your CV speak for itself as a reason to hire you, allowing you to make it to an interview and back up your words with a positive first impression in person.
1. A good starting point if you are creating your first CV is to use a CV template. A simple internet search will give a variety of options for the kind of template that will ensure that you don’t miss anything vital. It is also a good way of ensuring your CV structure is well laid out and easy for a potential employer to read.
2. Present your qualifications in a manner that is clearly visible to the reader. Ensure you include the full summary of your educational history and academic achievements. Make sure you also include any professional qualifications you may have achieved such as ACCA UK qualifications.
3. Highlight your unique skills in addition to your academic and educational achievements. For example, if you have language skills or specialist IT skills, make sure you draw the reader’s attention to them. Furthermore, if you have oral presentation skills, be sure to include this too.
4. Tailor your CV. It may seem like a lot of work, but tailor your CV for each application you submit. Make sure you read the personal specification and technical competency requirements in order to understand exactly what the employer is looking for. Then, make sure your CV meets those job competency requirements and add and delete information as appropriate to make sure your CV is a good fit.
5. Keep it short. Make sure your CV is no longer than two sides of A4 paper. If it is any longer, you run the risk of the reader losing interest or skipping vital information as they scan it.
6. Include hobbies and interests. Try and avoid the clichéd hobbies of ‘socialising with friends’ or too many solitary habits. Instead, try and include hobbies that will impress your future employer such as volunteering, running or climbing. Wherever possible, try and link hobbies to employment related skills such as organisation, dedication and team work.
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