Tips to Improve your CV

Posted 31/08/2018 10:03am

It’s important to make a good first impression with any potential employer, and your CV needs to be good quality. But what does this mean? In simple terms, you need to be putting across the rights message, in a suitable format and make sure it contains no mistakes.

Many employers receive a great number of applications and CVs for every job that they advertise, this can mean that they need to quickly decide who’s worth interviewing.

So how can you make your CV stand out for all the right reasons?

List your achievements, not your duties

Your CV needs to be selling you as an individual, so make sure you’re selling yourself. Having phrases such as “responsible for ordering stock” can make your CV appear bland and doesn’t sell the interviewer why that was good for the business. However, changing it to something along the lines of “by monitoring sales trends and stock levels, I reduced the number of ‘Out of Stock’ instances by xx%”. This is much more appealing as you’re directly describing why it was good for the business that you were checking on stock levels.

Also, don’t forget to use active language. Instead of having sentences such as “involved in promoting the company” change it to “I promoted the company” Remember, your CV is meant to be selling your skills and not those of your old team.

Curriculum Vitae

Tailor your CV

Most people use a one size fits all CV that’s sent out to all employers. These can be a little unfocused and can be easy to spot.

Instead, spend a little time and tailor your CV to the skills that the employer is asking for. Also, don’t forget to highlight any relevant experience.

For example, you may be applying for a job in manufacturing, so having your CV based around your experiences in engineering won’t put you at the top of the pile.

Avoid typos, poor spelling and grammar mistakes

Mistakes can make it seem as though your CV was a rush job and you haven’t put in any time fine-tuning it. Remember: it is designed to make you appear professional and make companies want to hire you. If your CV is full of mistakes it shows that you don’t care how you come across as a person, so will you care about the company if hired?

It can be a good idea to have someone else check over your CV to make sure it’s mistake free. Try not to rely on spellcheckers as they can miss some mistakes.

Proofread - accuracy, grammar and spelling

Make it easy to read

No one likes being confronted with a wall of text, it can make it unappealing and hard to find any relevant information.

Try using bullet points to highlight any relevant information and past experience, this allows the reader to scan for any useful information and key points.

Also, unless you’re applying for a creative role try to keep visual effects out of it. It can put potential employers off.

Try to limit the length

This goes back to the previous comments that employers have a lot of CVs to go through and don’t want to spend all day reading them.

A general rule of thumb is that your CV should be no more than 2 pages long, depending on experience (If you have more relevant experience then don’t be afraid to go over 2 pages).

If you’re just starting out then it’s fine to have as little as one page. But remember: keep it relevant, the Saturday job you have delivering papers in your teens probably won’t be relevant.

In conclusion

CV writing can seem a little daunting and time-consuming but once you get into the habit you’ll be fine. Just remember the points that were discussed above and to tailor it to the role and company your applying for and it’ll hopefully work in your favour.

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