So, you have seen your dream job advertised and now all that is standing between you and landing the role is a killer CV and the chance to show the recruiters how suitable you are in the interview process. With potentially hundreds of other applicants all applying for one role, your CV must be perfect to ensure you receive an interview invitation.
Here are some key considerations for building a high-quality CV:
Use a clear structure
You would be surprised at how many people get the structure of their CV oh so very wrong. Remember that the recruiter could be reading large volumes of CVs and if one is badly structured, they are unlikely to want to spend extra time trying to read it. Therefore, when you write your CV, make sure that it follows a really clear structure, using formatting and spacing to make key information stand out.
Break up content and text
The readability of your CV is critical, and one way to ensure it is highly readable is to simply break up the content into sections. Long blocks of text make information really hard to absorb, so using short paragraphs of no more than five/six lines will adequately break up your content. Bullet points are also a very good way to display key points that you want to bring to the recruiter’s attention.
Being modest is not going to land you the job of your dreams. Don’t worry about recruiters thinking that you are showing off, as you need to confidently express your talents and show them that you are the ultimate candidate for the role. If this means that you sound like you are blowing your own trumpet, then you are on the right track. You cannot expect recruiters to assume that you are perfect for the role, you have to show them that you are.
If you have some outstanding achievements or awards, tell them about it. Don’t worry that it is not relevant to the job, as you are simply showing that your abilities have been highly recognised and this makes you a stronger candidate than anyone who does not mention receiving the same type of recognition.
Prove your impact
The recruiters will be looking for evidence that you have a track record for driving results and what you can bring to their team and the table. When you are providing examples of your experience, make sure that you include the end results to highlight how you made an impact. Also, never say we when you are talking about achievements, the recruiters are only interested in what you have achieved and what your direct role was.
Be specific about what actions you took; you may find it useful to incorporate the STAR method, where you describe the Situation, Task, Activity and Result. Using this method will ensure that every point that you make is reflecting your impact.
Finally, before you even think about sending your CV to a recruiter, check and double check your CV, making sure that there are no basic errors that might stand in the way of getting your dream job.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Andrew Fennell is the founder of CV writing advice website StandOut CV – he is a former recruitment consultant and contributes careers advice to websites like Business Insider, The Guardian and FastCompany.