Your CV needs to be sensible, but it also needs to show what makes you unique. It’s a difficult balance to strike, but paramount to getting a job. Employers will spend no more than a few minutes glancing through your CV before they decide whether it is worth exploring in detail. Here’s how to send a clear message that gets through to them.
This is the first thing that employers will see when they open your CV. It is your initial sales pitch. Make sure it is well tailored to the job role that you are applying for. You need to inspire the reader to move beyond this introduction, so select your most relevant and impressive skills. This is one of the few parts of your CV that could be written as a paragraph, if you are applying for a role which involves writing, use it as an opportunity to showcase your eloquent and engaging writing style, just be careful not to veer off topic!
Think about the Dates
Experience should be dated, with the most recent experience at the beginning. What you did recently is likely to be the most advanced so you want it to be at the forefront of your CV.
When dating your work experience, check for any long, unaccounted for periods of time. A few weeks is fine, a few months can be okay. Anything above six months could do with an explanation. What you don’t want is your employers imagining the worst; that you are hiding something from them. They may begin to wonder if you lost all enthusiasm for work and just dropped out, whether you went to prison, or were unable to get re-hired in your field. Whatever your reason, whether you fancied a break, you became a stay at home parent or perhaps went travelling, it is always better to explain it in your own words rather than leave them wondering.
Some things can be left out
Your CV should fit into two pages at most, so prioritise. You may find it hard to decide which hobby or volunteering work is more important than the other. Maybe you can squeeze them all in if you go into less detail. One good principle to follow is to only expand on what is strictly relevant. Do not sacrifice valuable sentences about what programmes you have been trained in during your most recent and relevant job role for details about how you renovated a school in Africa after Uni, no matter how proud you are of it.
Take Advantage of the Online World
Anything which you have left out of your CV, you can always showcase online. Employers who are interested in you may search you on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. Make sure that there is not anything unprofessional in the public domain, but equally take advantage of this opportunity to show who you are. If you own a blog, portfolio or have done work on a website it is a great idea to add a link to your CV. The more of your story that your employer can see, the more they will begin to trust you as a candidate.
CVs need regular attention. Do not neglect your CV for years after making it, you may have learnt a new skill last month which is worth adding under the bullet points of your current role. Allow your CV to grow with you, if you are still evolving so should it.
-Bondburry Recruitment Team