Your CV is what makes that first impression to your dream employer! It is an essential part of your job application as it will help you get the job interview and eventually the job. You can strengthen your CV to give it a better chance of getting noticed.
Here are some tips on how to strengthen your CV:
1. Make sure it’s up-to-date
Your CV should be a snapshot of your career so far and what you’ve achieved in each role, but you should make it a priority to highlight past achievements and responsibilities which are relevant to the role you are applying for. If you’re changing industries or moving roles within your industry, update your CV so that it reflects that. If you’ve had time out of work for family reasons or illness, make sure this is reflected on your CV too.
2. Keep it short and sweet
You’ll have around 20 seconds to impress the recruiter when they glance at your CV, so keep it short and sweet – no more than two pages in length (if possible). A recruiter will only spend 30 seconds looking at each CV in their pile, so ensure yours stands out by keeping it simple and easy-to-read. Avoid using complex language or jargon and don’t try to cram everything onto one page. Where possible, use bullet points and only include an extra page if necessary.
3. Check for spelling and grammar mistakes
Check for spelling and grammar mistakes, even if you’re applying for an entry-level job where spelling isn’t important. It doesn’t look good when someone has to correct your mistakes before they can read your CV properly! Ask a friend or family member who is good at English to proofread it for you before submitting it.
4. Remember to sell your strengths
Remember to include your personal statement. This is a short but important section at the top of your CV that explains why you are qualified for the position and what makes you stand out from other candidates. It’s your chance to show the selection panel who you really are and what makes you tick. Think about what kind of company you want to work for and tailor your writing to that company’s values. If they’re a family-friendly business, you might mention your own children, if you have them, and things about your parenting that you enjoy and are proud of.
5. Use Power Words
Words like ‘achieved’, ‘managed’ and ‘organised’ are known as action verbs, as they describe what you have done in the past. They make your CV more interesting to read, because they show that you have taken action and implemented real change. So don’t just rely on job titles and responsibilities – include specific examples of what you’ve achieved at work.
Best of luck with your application process, we hope you found this useful! Remember to keep your CV concise but detailed, showing off your strengths and achievements!
Called in for an interview? Read our Guide to Successful Interviews to help you make a great lasting impression.