Your CV can obviously make or break your job application. So, you might be wondering what you can do to keep it out of your prospective employer’s bin. Our highly achieved career consultants are specialists in different UK and international sectors including NGO, law, finance, consulting and education, and offer valuable CV tips below. They work regularly with our students and applicants to perfect their CVs and applications – and the results are phenomenal. Below they’ve listed their 5 top CV tips for a standout application, so read them and make sure to share.
1. Include the basics
There is no one way to write a CV, however, there are some basic foundations every employer looks for, which you must cover. These include personal and contact information, education, employment history/work experience, relevant skills you have acquired, and personal interests and achievements, which could be transferrable to the job market. You can choose to include a reference or two if they are notable referees like a renowned academic or CEO. Alternatively, state that ‘References are available on request’ at the bottom of your CV. Remember that British CVs don’t usually include a picture but this might vary according to country.
2. Be concise
Your CV should be no more than two pages of A4 in 10-12 font, with every point being absolutely crucial to the application. The longer it is, the less likely recruiters will read your whole CV. So, your chances increase if they can tick all the boxes quickly and you draw their eyes to relevant sections.
3. Tailor each CV
A common mistake, which many younger job seekers make, is to send the same CV for all jobs. It’s good to have a general template, which includes absolutely everything but it’s crucial that you then tailor each CV to the role in question. This involves matching all specified requirements and adapting your skills to suit the role.
It also means that you have to go through the wording of the employer with a fine comb and cater your CV to their requirements. Even the retail job you did at university will have transferable skills that you can include in your CV to demonstrate experience in sales, interpersonal skills or customer service. Also, don’t forget to update your general CV regularly, so you don’t forget a crucial detail in your next application.
4. Make the most of each section
In the skills section of your CV, make sure that you include skills that are specific to the job description but also list skills that make you stand out from other applicants. You may have acquired these as part of your local sports team, so have a real think of what you’ve learned, especially in terms of teamwork and leadership, which every employer wants their future staff to possess.
The same applies to your interests and hobbies. So, prioritise social interest over solitary ones, so you’re not perceived as lacking people skills. Most employers love socially intelligent employees who can work independently or in a team, and those who take initiative. Relevant interests can be anything from running your university newspaper to starting a society and can help you sound really interesting.
Lastly, use positive and assertive language and list your work in terms of achievements, including terms like ‘developed’, ‘planned’, ‘achieved’ or ‘organised’, relating them to the job in question.
5. Perfect presentation
If the presentation of your CV’s layout margins, spaces and font is flawed or there are spelling and grammar errors, all your skills could amount to zero. A standout CV is presented with a clean layout and good structure and has been proofread to perfection. Remember the CV hotspot – the upper middle area of the first page where the reader’s eye will naturally fall first, and make sure you make good use of that section. Also, don’t forget to spell check your CV to avoid silly mistakes.
Need to know more CV tips?
You’ve come to the right place! We are London’s top tutors and advisors on anything and everything related to education and jobs. We can provide more CV tips as well as tailored feedback editorial and proofreading of your CVs and applications. Additionally, we also coach you for interviews and tailor the coaching to each job, firm or organisation.
See our career consultancy for more information. Then contact us at 02030867311 or firstname.lastname@example.org to ask for help today.