The importance of writing an exemplary CV/Resume cannot be understated
A CV/Resume is the tool that recruiters within the industry rely on to assess your skills, experience and aptitude to fill an advertised role. To this end, I have provided this brief guide to ensuring that your CV is up to scratch and ready to do battle with others in the modern online arena.
Writing your CV
A successful CV/Resume should follow the following format: -
It should be no more than 2 pages of A4
Make every word count and keep it concise! Recruiters spend an average of less than 10 seconds reading a new CV, so you need to grab their attention! Keep it commanding, compelling and leave the detail until your face to face interview.
Include a brief personal statement
Talk about your passion, ambition and what you can bring to the role above and beyond anyone else. Try and link it to past experiences and jobs.
Mistakes do not sell you or your abilities
Have you spell checked your CV/Resume for spelling and grammar? If not, do it now. Recruiters have a very low tolerance level for mistakes in Cvs as the lack of accuracy compels them to go to the next CV in the file. Don’t let this happen to you!
Yes, make the CV look as good as possible. Something that is attractive to the eye, keeps the eye. And that is the idea. Make sure that it is easily readable with bullet points and try to keep sentences a short eyeful in length. Use space to keep it as clean and easy to read as possible.
Keywords! What are keywords?
When you type any search into a search engine, that is a keyword! Recruiters will most likely find your CV/Resume via a keyword search, so ensure that you use the industry standard job title that is most appropriate to you. Any industry, sector or project names should also be included. If possible, also include all geographical locations you have lived and worked in also with country, region and city information. These are all things you can do to send your CV to the top of the pile.
Make it relevant
If you are going for a job that requires certain skills or experience, tailor it to that specific job. This will make your skills more closely aligned to the job you are applying for and make you more attractive to potential employers.
Include interesting facts
Everybody loves statistics, even the people scouring CVs, so include some facts and figures. What was the project worth? How much did you or your team contribute? These are tangible metrics that back up your achievements and your value so use them wisely.
Ensure that your CV is in Microsoft Word .doc or .docx format
This is the industry standard and will ensure a greater open rate from potential employers. There is nothing worse than having to download a large .pdf file that contains lots of photos. Recruiters are not interested in these and the slower download times will mean they look elsewhere without opening the CV.
If you have an existing CV, it is always worth reviewing what you have put in it before. Are there any other skills and/or experiences that you had forgotten about? If so, put them in the relevant place.
In order to make you as attractive as possible to potential employers, your CV/Resume should include the following as a minimum: -
- Personal details
Name, address, phone numbers and email addresses should all be included. Further details about your nationality, location and preferred place of work are also very useful. If you are willing to work anywhere, you should say so.
- Work experience
Start with your most recent work and work backwards. This may not seem logical to some of you, but trust me, this is how recruiters expect CVs to be laid out. Use short concise sentences and don’t forget the all important keywords. Make sure you rise above the noise.
Include all your qualifications, even the IT course you did 5 years ago and forgot about. It may be the one thing that puts you ahead of the next person. Sometimes this is all it can take to get you the job. Also include details of languages you speak and the fluency level.
Do you have an extraordinary professional skill? List it here.
List any hobbies that you feel will fit with the job offered. i.e. If the job is on a piping ship, don’t mention the fact that you can’t live without a round of golf. Any hobby that demonstrates motivation and commitment is worth a mention though.
Although it is not mandatory to offer references on your CV/Resume, a quick note to say they are available is usually expected. Make sure that you let the referees know your intentions before you offer them up as reference sources.