It doesn’t matter how well qualified you are for a particular job. If your CV lets you do, you won’t get as far as the interview. So how can you make sure your CV rises to the top of the pile and gets you ahead of the competition? Here are some tips to bear in mind the next time you apply for a job.
If you haven’t touched your CV in a few years, now is the time to take it out and review it. Make sure it is fully up to date: old CVs are quite easy to spot and yours will undoubtedly take you out of the running if it isn’t bang up to date.
This is vitally important, especially if you have been working for some time. When someone looks over your CV they want to see what you are doing now, or what your most recent job position was. They don’t want to be greeted with a blow by blow account of your job history since 1992.
Potential employers may have hundreds of CVs to look at. This means they are most likely to scan your CV rather than read it word for word. So make it easier for them to do just that – use plenty of easy to read bullet points instead of writing everything in paragraphs. Bold headings also make for easier reading.
This is something only a small percentage of job applicants do, so if you do this you’ll be streets ahead of the competition. Consider the skills that will be required of you to do the job you are applying for, and make sure those skills stand out in your previous experience. The best way to do this is to start with the job advert. Make a list of the skills they are looking for, and then make sure those skills are illustrated in your CV. There should be no need to lie – all you have to do is to make sure your previous experience and job skills are targeted to the job you are applying for.
Since you are adjusting it to cater for each new job you apply for, it makes sense you’ll have more proofreading to do. If you can, put your CV away for a day or so before re-reading it, and then send it out. You’ll catch more mistakes this way. A single mistake could be enough to put you out of the running, so it makes sense to do everything you can to ensure you stand the best chance of getting the job you really want.