So; you’ve found the perfect job and can’t wait to apply. Surely you’ll be picked for an interview straight away right? According to research carried out by The Guardian Jobs, recruiters spend just 8.8 seconds reading a CV that lands on their desk. Which means, you have just 8.8 seconds to impress. Not quite so simple now is it?
So what makes a perfect CV? Here are our top things to remember when writing a CV to make sure you’re standing out from the crowd:
Have the job in mind
It might be easier to write a ‘blanket’ CV that covers all areas and doesn’t need changing from job to job but the likelihood is, you’ll be applying for multiple roles that might have different qualities and skills advertised. Take the time to write bespoke CV’s for every role you apply for and keep the job description open whilst amending to ensure you include all important points.
Keep the format simple
Whilst you might think playing around with format and layout is fun and inventive, employers don’t have the time for complicated designs. Your CV should be easy to read on just two sides of A4 with clear headings to separate content. Simplicity is always best, especially when an employer is likely to be sifting through dozens if not hundreds of CV’s at a time.
Write a good personal profile
This should act as a brief introduction to yourself, your background and your key skills. This only needs to be one or two sentences but will be the first thing potential employers read so it’s important to make this stand out. Be concise and only touch upon skills or experience relevant to the job you’re applying for.
Include work experience or internships
You might not have been paid but work experience or voluntary internships are still vital on a CV. It’s becoming more and more important to employers that you have extensive experience, even if certain placements were only short term and voluntary work helps to prove passion and drive.
Keep your interest and hobbies to a minimum
Whilst every good CV will have a section about hobbies and interests, it’s important to not go overboard. Employers will look at this to gain a better understanding of the type of person you are outside of work but they don’t need to know the ins and outs of your personal life. List two or three hobbies and, if possible, make at least one of these beneficial to the role.
Add two references but get permission first
Most employers won’t contact a reference unless a job is offered but it’s hugely important to include at least two at the end of your CV. If you can, aim for at least one reference to be a previous employer. If you’ve not had extensive work experience, include a family friend (not a relation) that can vouch for your key qualities and skills. Before you add the references to your CV, it’s important to check that they’re happy to be used. Drop them an email or give them a call and check before sending off your application.