I think my CV needs improvement….
Writing a CV isn’t easy – particularly if you don’t have the exact experience that your prospective employer is looking for. Fortunately, there is plenty of help out there to get you on track.
Follow these easy tips to ensure your CV is as polished as it could be.
- Choose the right template – not all templates are equal! Your CV template should be neatly laid out and professional, allowing recruiters to quickly spot what they’re looking for. A brief 3 line personal statement at the top is a great place to summarise how you meet the job specification.
- Use a spell check but don’t rely on it – spell checkers often mess up on the rules of language. If you use the wrong word but spell it correctly, you may find it isn’t flagged. Get two or three academic or professional people to look over your CV for errors.
- Tailor your CV to every job – it takes a lot longer but it will increase your chances of success dramatically. Highlight the skills, experience and qualifications that the employer wants, particularly when writing your personal statement.
- Tailor the cover letter – and ensure that if you don’t meet the exact job specification, you explain to the employer why you can still do the job. For example:
- The employer wants 2 years of management experience. You’ve never been called a manager but in your current role you’ve been leading and supervising a team of 5 people for the past 2 years.
- The employer wants 2 years of management experience. You’re not a manager in your current role but on weekends, you lead a team of 10 at a voluntary project for your local charity.
- Make sure there’s a skills section – the employer doesn’t have all day to read through your CV and will want to quickly check you can do the job. You might have 5 years’ experience as a secretary but the recruiter wants to know how fast you can type, whether you can do shorthand, whether you’ve typed to dictation and which software packages you’re used to. It’s easier to skim through a bulleted list of skills than to pour over a lengthy job description – so make key information visible in an instant.