Your CV is your ticket to an interview – you want to do everything you can to make it an easy decision for a hiring manager to choose to interview you. Throughout the process of creating your CV, you should be regularly asking yourself: “What would the hiring manager want to see? Will this make them want to interview me?” Much of this, of course, will vary depending on the company and the position you’re applying for. However, some things are universal. Here are some tips on creating a top CV.
- Keep the format clean and simple – unless you’re applying for a job in graphic design, there’s no need to showcase your design skills.
- Stick to two A4 pages. Hiring managers and recruiters don’t spend much time looking at a CV, so there’s no need to include your whole life story.
- Tailor your CV to each job and each company. If there is a job ad or spec, match your CV to it – ensure that each requirement is clearly covered. Research the company to work out what skills or experience they value.
- Be sure to include a personal statement, right near the top of the first page. It should include reasons why you’d be good at the job and reasons why you want to do the job – remember, flattering a company never did anyone any harm!
- Make sure any gaps are explained – if there is no explanation for a gap between jobs, you’re leaving yourself open to suspicion.
- Explain your responsibilities in each job AND specific achievements. If you’re in sales, how much revenue did you bring in? If you’re in media relations, how many articles did you get placed and in which publications?
- Make your CV keyword-friendly – but not so that it reads robotically! Recruiters and hiring managers search online job boards, so make sure your CV will appear in relevant searches.
- Tell the truth! That thing people say about everyone lying on their CV? Yeah, that’s a lie. Not worth getting yourself in hot water later in the application process.
- Never rely on spellcheck.
- Have at least one other person read it to check grammar, spelling, sense and tone.
- Read it out loud. This will help you find mistakes.
- Check it again.