In order to make an immediate impact, your CV will need to communicate the following information in the most succinct yet readable form:
- Roles and responsibilities – You’ll need to tailor your CV to each particular job that you apply for, so it’s vital that the job titles and the responsibilities you include in your CV are relevant (if not a direct match) for the job on offer.
- Experience – Your CV will be scanned for the right kind of experience. Ensure your experience, whether six months in one role or four years in another, comes across as consistent and relevant to the job you’re applying for. Be clear where you added value, and your exact contribution to any high profile project.
- Skills – Ensure you include all relevant skills gained and required of you in previous roles. Your skills will complement your experience and should ultimately illustrate your suitability for the job on offer.
- Results and achievements – Hiring managers love to see results, so if you achieved above your target as a sales manager, for example, make sure you state your targets as amounts or percentages, and demonstrate how you’ve overachieved.
- Education – Ensure you highlight relevant educational certificates, particularly when they’ve been listed as essential or desirable on the selection criteria.
Once you’ve got the details right, your CV will need to look, feel and read well if it’s going to grab the attention of a hiring manager or recruiter quickly and effectively. To do this, make sure you pay attention to the following details:
- Easy to read – Ensure the layout of your CV is clear and consistent, containing only one font type (bold can be used to highlight) and using bullet points to outline skills, achievements, responsibilities etc. rather than rambling sentences.
- No inconsistencies – Ensure sure your CV runs in clear, reverse chronological order and that there are no unexplained time lapses or inconsistencies regarding responsibilities you held or achievements you’ve included.
- Format and label – Ensure your CV is formatted in such a way that the recipient will be able to open it easily – no hiring manager wants to download software to view a CV. Also, make sure that when you save your CV you include your name i.e. Smith,John-CV in the saved title.