Tips to create a great CV

Tips to create a great CV

1. Keep it succinct

Usually a CV should be no more than two pages – and that’s two pages of A4 paper! Employers spend, on average, just 8 seconds looking at any one CV, and a sure-fire way of landing yourself on the no pile is to send them your entire life story. Keep it punchy, to the point, and save those niggly little details for the interview.

2.Tailor it for the vacancy in question/your industry

Take the time to change your CV for each role that you apply for. Research the company and use the job advert to work out EXACTLY what skills you should point out to them. Mirror the job specification!

3.Gaps? Explain

We are a cynical bunch and leaving obvious gaps on your CV immediately makes employers/recruiters suspicious. If you’ve been out of work it can be a worry but just put a positive spin on it. Did you do a course, volunteer work or develop soft skills such as communication, teamwork or project management? Detail these on your CV.

4.Evidence

Back up your achievements with numbers it makes selling yourself much easier. When writing your work history, don’t just say that you increased sales; tell them you increased sales by 70% over a six month period, detail key wins that edges you in front of the rest of the applicants. If you were hiring what would impress you?

(Above all else tell the truth!)

5.Layout and Key word friendly

Your choice of font and layout are key to making sure a would-be employer carries on reading your CV. Simple formats work best.

If you’ve uploaded your CV to a job site so recruiters can find you, keywords are very important. Job titles and job buzzwords will help a search engine pick out your CV from the pile.


Quick Do’s and Don’ts to live by

Do’s

  • Research: Find out exactly what the employer you want to impress is looking for, then write a CV that exactly matches their requirements.
  • Evidence: Prove what a great candidate you are by including examples of achievements, improvements you made at work or problems you solved.
  • Two pages: Aim for a two-page CV. Any more than this and you are likely to be waffling, but any less and you have not provided enough information.
  • Proofreading: Thoroughly check your CV for errors and ensure that what you have written makes sense. Then ask someone to double-check it for you.

Don’ts

  • Be negative: Avoid any criticisms of past or present employers, or mention any difficult periods in your career history. Your CV needs to be very positive.
  • Photo: Do not use a photo with your CV unless you are specifically asked to. It’s usually only relevant for work like modelling or promotions work.
  • Rely on one CV: Expect to have a number of CVs that you change depending on the job you are applying for. Always tailor your CV.
  • Use fancy layout: Avoid unusual fonts, columns, tables etc in your CV when writing it in a Word document. The formatting can so easily go awry when it is read by a recruiter.

Let FPSG help you meet your recruitment goals by contacting us on 0870 050 0525 or hello@fpsg.com

Author: Dayna Ferguson

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