Think about what it is you have to offer, then think carefully about what you want to do and, finally, consider what it is that employers are looking for.
The first point is trickier than people think, as you might have been doing the same role for a while – but you need to think about what employers might want to “buy” from you.
On the second point you need to consider whether there is perhaps something that has been a smaller part of your role that you now want to develop, and if so you need to tailor your CV (and job hunt) accordingly.
On the last point, find examples of the role you are interested in and get detailed job specs so you can find which points you can tick off your CV.
After you have tweaked your CV, it is always worth looking at again. Twenty out of the 24 CVs we recently looked at for the post of a proofreader contained errors, I have seen it all – from the public relations officer who labelled herself “pubic” relations officer to the lawyer whose duties included overseeing the company’s “dew” diligence. To avoid those bloopers and get the perfect CV, here are some tips:
- Don’t cram everything you have ever done into a CV (1). A successful CV will cherry-pick the bits that meet the role you are applying for.
- Stick to a maximum of two pages if you can (2); but the first half of the first page will be where you really need to demonstrate you can do the job.
- Don’t include hobbies and interests unless you are in the very early stages of your career. Then, make sure they’re relevant – and don’t include “socialising” and “drinking”.
- Back up any claims you make about yourself with an example (3). So don’t just say “responsible for sales” but do say “identified new business opportunities that bought in £100,000 in the first year”, for example.
- Check, check and check again (4) – and get someone else to do the same – spelling and grammar.
- Make sure your CV is presented using standard fonts such as Times New Roman or Arial (5). Some companies use recruitment software to sift through CVs – the software won’t be able to read CVs with fancy fonts.
- Make sure your name and address (and not the words Curriculum Vitae) are at the top of the CV (6).
Corinne Mills has the No 1 CV book in the UK ‘You’re hired! how to write a brilliant CV’ and you can purchase this book from Amazon by clicking on the link above.