In a cut-throat employment market, having a stand-out resume, or more appropriately, curriculum vitae (CV), can be the defining factor in getting that dream job. Most of us have a basic idea as to what information we should include in our CV. However, these simple steps will help you blend the key ingredients that impress employers and win places on their interview shortlist.
Firstly, the presentation of your CV is crucial. It has to be easy for the reader to scan quickly and effectively, so make sure you choose a traditional font, spell-check the content, insert clear section headings and don’t make use of colors or italics. Use bullet-points rather than making long paragraphs to make your CV concise and uncluttered and try to keep it to no more than two sides of A4 paper.
Secondly, make sure that your CV is targeted specifically at the job you are applying for rather than using a “one size fits all” generic CV. You should bring out skills and experience relevant to the job and tailor your CV to the specific requirements of the role.
Thirdly, be specific. Recruiters aren’t impressed by general “CV jargon” and so your skills and achievements should be specific and backed with concrete evidence. Give examples of real-life achievements such as work successes and awards in order to be convincing and to sell you well to employers.
Fourthly, ensure that all relevant information appears on your CV. This should generally include personal details, education and qualifications, work experience, interests, achievements and relevant skills. Be mindful though that a CV should be an appetizer to employers and should not include every last piece of information about you.
Finally, get a second opinion. Many career coaches or recruitment professionals will look over your CV for you to ensure the presentation is correct and that it contains the right level of detail. Your professional CV should be a document that is inviting to read and so it is worth spending time looking over it.