Fix Your CV For Your New Year Job Search
6 January 2017
It is that time of year again when people try and stick to their New Years’ Resolutions. Number one on the list is often finding a new job!
So, what do you do next? Do you just find that old CV from years ago, add on the latest job and send it for every job going? If so - stop! If you are seriously considering looking for a new job, take the time to make sure your CV will be doing you justice in 2017 - mistakes will put your CV in the rejection pile!
Most candidates think the job interview is the first stage in making sure they get that dream job. Actually the most competitive part of finding a job is the sift stage - when employers review every application they receive. Often, this can be in the hundreds and thousands. HR Consultancy received over 60,000 applications for vacancies last year alone!
This means that your CV is incredibly important as first impressions last.
I’ve identified some of the most common mistakes candidates make. Follow these, and it could make the difference between getting a rejection letter and landing that interview!
Be honest - when did you last take time to review what is on your CV? Do you send the same CV out to agencies and prospective employers over and over again? Stop! We need you to tailor your specific skills and experience to each and every role you apply for. We appreciate this may mean stating the obvious on your CV or duplicating information but it’s essential to show:
• the experience you have
• the level you work at
• that you actually match and understand employer specifications.
Take time to read each job advert before you apply and adjust your CV accordingly.
Identify all the duties and responsibilities you have had in each job. It isn’t necessary to include a description of the company, or the team. State what you were doing on a daily basis. Employers like to see clear and concise information on your CV that relates to the experience you have. The best way to do this? Use bullet points to show your skills.
Dates of Employment, Company and Job Title
Don’t miss this information out for any of your jobs. We need to know where you are, and have been working. Dates of Employment should include month and year, for both start and finish dates. If you have left your last employer, be sure to have updated this on your CV. Make sure to include your job title - this will be the first thing our clients look at on the CV – and your most recent job should be the first job on your CV.
Gaps in Employment
Explain – briefly - any gaps in employment. You don’t need to go into huge amounts of detail but let us know the basics - Sickness, travel, career break, starting family, caring for relative. They are all valid reasons for a gap and if more information is needed, then we will ask.
Only include a cover letter if you are asked for one. If you do include one, make sure to check the cover letter before you send it. We often see covering letters addressed to other agencies and employers.
Your Contact Details
Are they on your CV? We often see CVs with no contact telephone number! Sometimes, the mobile number is no longer active. Ensure your contact details (name, address, email and telephone numbers) are current.
One other thing on contact information – does your email address give a professional image of you? We all have that dodgy email address we have when we were 17 - this may not be the best one to use when applying for jobs!
Your CV should be no more than 2 pages – MYTH!
Don’t limit your CV to 2 pages – this is a myth! We need to see the skills and experience you have gained. The more information you can give us, the more we can help you. We can take information out of your CV if we don’t feel it’s relevant.
Doc Format Please
Make it easy for people to open your CV – send it in a Doc format. This is the default used by Microsoft Office. There are free alternatives to Word if you do not use Office such as OpenOffice, LibreOffice and Google Docs.
Grammar and Spell Check
- Read your CV.
- Spell check it.
- Grammar check it.
- Double check it.
- Triple check it.
- Get someone else to check it.
- Check it again.
- Then send it!
It sounds obvious but if you apply for an Administrator job and spell Administrator wrong, you probably will not be successful!
These simple tips are worth thinking about. It is a competitive market and employers have their pick of good candidates - so make sure you use your CV as the selling tool. It will improve your chances of securing an interview for that dream job!
Written By Jackie MacGregor