Quick tips for CV success
You’ve chosen the perfect CV template – so how do you make your application stand out? Here are some easy ways to maximise the chance of your CV finding its way to your recruiter’s shortlist:
First, make sure you really understand the job you’re going for – especially if it’s a role you’ve never done before. For example, management is not the same as leadership – and employers look for different qualities in managers and team leaders. Never assume that you can manage a team, just because you can do the task that the team performs very well. The ability to manage requires a completely discrete set of skills from those that the team is performing. Read up on the job role and what sort of qualities are required, before starting on your application.
- Carefully study the job specification before you start, paying close attention to what your recruiter is looking for. Often recruiters will divide adverts into two, with one set of requirements being mandatory and the other being things they would like. Your task is to ensure that the recruiter can see you meet the mandatory requirements within a few seconds of looking at either your CV or your cover letter.
- Write a ‘personal statement’ or ‘objective statement’, 3 to 4 lines long, at the top of your CV which sets out who you are, what you have to offer and what you’re looking for. The ‘what you have to offer’ part should cover the recruiter’s most important mandatory requirements, such as a particular degree or level of experience.
- Although it may be tempting to write down every single qualification and every day of work experience you’ve ever completed, it will only dilute the most important information and make it more difficult to find. Limit what you write about irrelevant positions or qualifications and include more information about those that are relevant. If you’ve never had the exact same position as the role you’re applying for, pick out aspects of previous roles that are cross-transferable to the job.
- Write a focused cover letter introducing yourself and explaining exactly how you meet the job specification. Read our guide on how to write a cover letter with examples here.