5 resume tips from an expert
Thanks to the Leap Year, we’re lucky enough to gain an extra 24 hours in our lives on 29th February. Here at Your Coffee Break, we think it’s important to make the most of your free time so why not put that extra day to good use?
Setting aside time to think about your career is important to ensure you’re in the right role and are progressing in line with your ambition. If you’re thinking about starting a new career journey this year, an impressive CV is one of the most valuable tools and is essential for a successful job hunt. You could spend those extra hours working on yours this month to ensure you make a good impression on your prospective employer.
Clare Riding, Head of Careers and Employability Services at The Open University, shares her top five tips for Your Coffee Break readers to help you create the ultimate CV.
1. Tailor your CV to the type of job or sector you’re interested in
Draw on your most relevant skills or experiences, giving specific examples that demonstrate your qualities and achievements. Checking these examples against the job description can be a useful way to ensure you’re hitting the points that will grab your potential employer’s attention.
2. Make your CV distinctive
Include any extra activities or achievements (even outside your career) that demonstrate specific qualities or abilities. This will help to make sure your CV doesn’t fall to the bottom of the pile – it’s all about showcasing your skills to ensure your CV is memorable and stays front of mind.
3. Be honest and don’t lie about your experience
It’s important that you are honest with all prospective employers from the start. Your CV is your opportunity to sell yourself and really show what you’re capable of – don’t make the mistake of lying or trying to be someone else. Background checks are simple to run and it’s easy to be caught out. Plus, dishonesty is never a quality employers seek so it’s not worth the risk.
4. Don’t leave unexplained gaps
Career breaks aren’t seen as negative by employers but they’ll always be queried so make sure you explain why you took one, if you did. If you took some time out to raise a family, care for a loved one or travel the world, highlight the skills these experiences gave you and the personal qualities they demonstrate. This might even make your CV more unique and give you an edge you never knew you had. Just ensure you’re clear on any gaps so there are no difficult questions further down the line.
5. Check it…and check it again!
Have you read your CV to check for spelling, grammar and formatting? Have you given enough prominence to the experience that the potential employer is looking for? Have you asked your partner, a friend or a family member to review it for you too? Check your CV thoroughly and then check again. A second pair of eyes is also useful so ask someone who knows you well and whom you trust to look over the CV too.
For further information on how to prepare the ultimate CV, check out The Open University’s website – http://www.open.ac.uk
Why don’t you also try the new free Open University online course, ‘Succeed in the Workplace’ http://www.open.edu/openlearn/education/succeed-the-workplace/content-section-overview
This handy free 8-week course is helpful for those considering embarking on a new career path, just starting out in the job market or even returning to work after a break.
Special thanks to The Open University for partnering with us on this post!