Ah, CVs… however much you dislike them, you cannot ignore them – for they are your key to the front door of your dream job. We aren’t looking to get you down, but did you know that nearly half of all hiring managers spend less than 60 seconds looking at your CV? To make matters worse, nearly half of those spend less than 30 seconds analysing all your hard work. So, let’s say you have 30 seconds to make a good impression. What do you do?
Carry on reading and we’ll tell you what to do, and maybe more importantly, what not to do, so you can get back to work and stop wasting your valuable time on job applications, CVs and cover letters.
What To Do
As we mentioned above, you don’t have much time to make a good impression, therefore you need to make sure your CV is ‘scan’ friendly and stands out from the crowd. You can do this by using visually-appealing templates and making clever use of bold and italics. For example, if you increased your employer’s sales by 30% last year, then why not write that you increased their sales by 30%? Emboldening important and impressive stats and facts can instantly grab the attention of the reader and is likely to entice them to come back for more.
Keep your CV as concise as possible and adjust it to match the job you are applying for – we know this can be time-consuming, but why go through the hassle of making a perfect application if your CV isn’t relevant to the role you are applying for? Even if you don’t have the experience in the relevant sector or industry, you can still write about the transferable skills you have and why you are looking for a change.
If you can, namedrop! Were you the Chief Marketing Officer for Apple? Brag about it. Did you work personally with Boris Johnson during his election campaign? Let people know. If you haven’t worked for well-known companies (as many of us won’t have) then don’t worry, try to give recruiters full details about the companies you have worked for and any high-profile clients you may have had.
What Not To Do
The time employers spend reading your CV may be minimal, but a quick scan is all it takes for glaring spelling and grammar mistakes to become apparent. Before you get ready to send your CV off, proofread it then proofread it again, and if you want extra help, send it to us for one final proofread!
Although spell checkers can be useful for spotting spelling mistakes, they aren’t as good at fixing grammatical issues. Furthermore, they won’t pick up on words that are correctly spelt, but incorrectly placed. For example, if you spell “thought” as “though”, it won’t be corrected. Reading your CV out loud can be a useful way to overcome this issue.
A white lie or stretching the truth can be fine to an extent. But never lie about things that matter on your CV, you are likely to be called out on it and this will be very obvious to most hiring managers.
Make sure your email address is professional – your name followed by a year is a common format. Try to have separate emails for your business and personal lives, and avoid using handles such as email@example.com.
Finally, avoid generic phrases that have been used a thousand times over. You might be “an enthusiastic graduate who works well independently and is also a great team player and communicator who is good at problem-solving” but so is everyone else – use unique phrases and write about things that are directly related to the role you are applying for.
How We Can Help You
We hope you’ve found some of our tips and tricks useful – if you want to find out more, or get a second opinion altogether, then our CV service might be of interest to you!
For as little as £25, we will read over your CV and check it for grammatical mistakes and spelling errors. If you read the above, you know this can be a dealbreaker for well over 75% of employers and hiring managers! We will also rejig and rephrase content that we think could sound better, ensuring that you come across as the star that you are!
If you can afford to break the bank, then for £35 we will complete all of the above, as well as redesigning the visual aspect of your CV, put it into a template and make you truly stand out. You won’t have to worry about a 30-second window ever again.