When you apply for a job so do hundreds of other people. You may have spent hours creating your CV but it isn’t going to get more than a minute’s attention from a recruiter. If the first glance at our CV fails to impress, you’re not going to even get a chance to state your case. Hence, your CV needs to be perfect in every way. Here are a few essential elements that should figure prominently on your CV.
Keyword from the advertisement for the Job
The same CV cannot be used for every job application. While the basic format may remain the same, you must tailor your CV to the post being applied for. For example, if you were applying for a writer’s position, the recruiter wouldn’t really be interested in your experience as a graphic designer. Without making it look awkward, include phrases from the Job post in your CV.
If you hold an MBA and it is one of the basic requirements of the job, mention the degree acronym just after your name at the top of your CV. This will automatically make the recruiter pay more attention to our CV. However, you don’t need to mention all your degrees in this way. Your undergraduate degree and other certifications can be simply included in the educational qualification section of your CV. You do not need to include details of all your schooling years in your CV.
Even if you’re just stepping out of college, and applying through a graduate recruitment agency, do not leave this section empty. Chances are you’ve helped organize an event or worked with an NGO while studying. Include all such details without making your CV too lengthy. An interesting career narrative shows initiative and speaks more of your skill sets than simply putting them down as a list. If you have a gap year in your career narrative, do not hide it but speak of what you did instead during that time.
It is always better to include metrics in your CV. This helps evaluate your skill sets and scope of work. For example, instead of just saying that you were a team leader for your last project, mention the size of the team you led. Figures and percentages are a great way to prove your success. These metrics should be relevant to the job being applied for. They should also be true. Do not falsify any information on your CV as there is a good chance the recruiter will double check the facts. If any information is found to be false, you can say goodbye to the job.
If you have a LinkedIn account, your CV should have a link to the same. If you’re sending your CV electronically, ensure that the link is clickable. Similarly, if you are applying for a creative post, your CV must be supplemented by a portfolio. The days of attaching a portfolio presentation with your CV documenting your work are gone. Now, if you want the recruiter to get an idea of your style of work, you must include a link to your online portfolio. While doing this, you should ensure that the information on these links is current and gets updated regularly.
Most recruiters prefer verbs to adjectives. For analytical jobs, you must include verbs such as forecasted, analyzed, formulated, verified etc. similarly, to show your leadership skills you could use verbs like advised, delegated, monitored, trained, led etc. These verbs help describe your skills to the recruiter and also speak of your experience using the said skills.
The recruiter should not have to work very hard to find a way to contact you. If your contact information is not clearly visible, your CV might get kept aside. After all, you are not the only person applying for the job. Do not bury this information at the bottom of your CV but let it be right on top. Also, avoid giving choice when it comes to phone numbers; one number is all that is needed.
Avoid writing in the third person. Instead, use short, crisp sentences that are to the point. Buller points are great on a CV and help the recruiter understand your skills and qualifications at a glance. Also, ensure that you use correct grammar and punctuation. Even a minor spelling mistake can put the reader off. Hence, double check and triple check your CV before sending it in. It is also a good idea to ask someone else to read your CV before you finalize it.
Lastly, format your CV well and make sure all the important information is prominently placed. Use a simple, legible font and give enough spacing between points. All the Best!