Writing a good CV can be a daunting task. Many employers often scan a CV for a few seconds and then decide whether to hire or not hire a certain job hunter. I know that this is harsh. Luckily, this article will give you tips that will increase your chances of grabbing the attention of any employer out there. So, without further ado, here are 10 tips on how to get that much-needed interview:
- Keep it real
It is a good idea to write a CV that is two pages or less of A4 paper. This is because of the fact that most employers only look at a CV for about 8 seconds and make their decision.
Therefore, if you want to be on the safe side, try as much as possible to avoid sending an employer your whole life story. Be brief and straight to the point. Some details should be left for the interview, not for the CV. Do you want examples? Check out our free CV templates.
- Customize your CV
I am sure that most of us are tempted to write the same CV to different employers in order to save a lot of time. However, this may be reducing your chances to get the important interview. Spend some time changing your CV to make it fit the role you are applying for.
Find out more about the company and use the job advert to find out exactly which skills you need to point out to the employer. The company will appreciate the obvious effort.
- Include a personal statement
Avoid assuming that the employer knows that your experience is related to what you are applying for. Therefore, it may be a good idea to use a brief personal statement that explains why you should be considered for the job. This should also be reflected in your cover letter. Check out our tips for the perfect cover letter.
- Don’t leave any gaps
Human beings are usually cynical. Therefore if you leave any gaps in your CV can make an employer suspect that you are trying to hide something. If you have been out of work, it is a worry but you can put a positive spin on it.
Did you do volunteer work, do a course or developed soft skills like teamwork, communication or project management? If so, then why don’t you include it in your CV? Check out our CV template for the currently unemployed.
- Keep it up to date
It is good to keep your CV current regardless of whether you are looking for a job or not. You can do this by recording anything significant that occurs in your career in your CV. This will help you avoid forgetting something that could be very important.
- Try as much as you can to make your CV error free
Employers search for mistakes on CVs and when they spot any errors, it will make you look bad. David Hipkin who is the head of recruitment and resourcing at Reed Business Information says that most of the employers out there receive many applications and this gives them an excuse to dismiss an application due to avoidable errors.
I would recommend that you use a spellchecker and ask someone you trust to double check the CV. Also, remember to avoid ignoring the most common CV mistakes.
- Don’t lie
Some may argue that all people lie on their CVs. What they don’t know is that lies can land someone in a whole heap of trouble especially when dealing with an employer who checks an applicant’s background and references.
I am sure that no one out there would like to start work and then lose their new job just because they lied in their CV. You can also be caught out at the interview stage when you lie in your CV as you may not be able to answer certain questions that you included in your CV. This can be very awkward.
- The Math’s
I know that this point can seem dull. However, backing your achievements with numbers can attract the attention of an employer. For instance, if you are writing your work history, it may be good to tell them that your sales increased by 70% over a 6 month period instead of saying that your sales increased. Big numbers are usually good but don’t be tempted to lie to the employer.
- Make it look good
When it comes to CVs, looks matter. This is why it is good to make your CV look good. You can do this by using bullet points, keeping sentences short and using the graphic design trick which involves leaving a lot of white space around text and between categories to make the layout easy on the eye. Alternatively, be creative with your job application. Here are a number of things you should not include according to Charles Hunter Associates.
- Make your CV keyword friendly
Keywords are important especially when you have uploaded your CV to a job site as it will make it easy for recruiters to find you. Job buzzwords and job titles will enable a search engine to pick out your CV from several other CVs.
A marketing candidate, for instance, may mention Search Engine Optimization (SEO), digital marketing, direct marketing among their skills and experience. Are you unsure? Just search on the internet and look for words that are mentioned several times whenever you input your job title.