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Ask the Experts: Top 5 CV Tips
Q: I want to revamp my CV but I don't really know where to start. Do you have any tips or advice on how I can improve my CV?
Your CV is like a personal advert for yourself, giving you a chance to show off all the attributes that make you the perfect choice for employers.
I have to read hundreds of CVs everyday so here are my top tips to consider to make sure your CV shows you in the best light.
1.Show off what makes you unique
For every job you apply for you could be up against hundreds of other candidates so you need to make sure you stand out.
You need to think about your unique selling points (USPs), people forget that the person reading the CV doesn’t know anything about you. The image that you have of yourself may differ from the image that you project and you may find that a skill that you excel at but consider to be routine, is highly regarded and desired by others.
Make a check list ensuring you have considered the following:
What is the one reason that an employer should hire you above all other candidates?
What can you bring that is unique or added value to the position/company?
What skills and experience do you have that will meet their needs?
2. Don’t over complicate the layout
I can be honest and tell you I spend around 20 to 30 seconds scanning your CV so it needs to remain clutter-free and easy to read.
The last thing a recruiter wants to do is to go hunting for the information that they are looking for so don't hide it amongst an array of elaborate graphics. Allow a logical structure and keep the same theme throughout.
I like to think of a CV as a story with a beginning, middle and end. Make yours an interesting one to read.
3. Tailor your CV to your audience
It may sound like a time consuming process, but making the effort to tailor your CV to suit the requirements of each particular job that you are applying for can greatly increase your chances of securing an interview.
I can really tell when someone has taken the time to research the job they are applying for. Read the job description and information about the company, visit their website. A job posting normally comes with the skills required so make sure your CV highlights that you have these skills.
4. No mistakes
One of my pet hates. It's so easy to make mistakes on your CV but exceptionally difficult to repair the damage once an employer receives it. As well as checking your spelling and grammar, make sure your employment dates match up and that you've provided the right phone number and email address. My top tip would be to get someone to read it as they may pick up on something you haven’t.
5. Keep your CV up-to-date
When you put together a CV it's often difficult remembering the projects you have been involved with and the achievements you have made. To avoid missing important pieces of information out, revisit your CV every month adding anything of importance, and cutting any information that is no longer required.