Katie Landon CV Advice, Advice, Tips...
Are CV's still relevant?
In a nutshell, yes. We see clients across all sectors requesting CVs to be submitted even for temporary assignments. Not necessary for all, but it's best to have an updated version ready to go just in case it's called upon. Think of it as the window into your employment past - make it as cohesive as possible, showcasing your experiences and abilities as employers want to get to know you and your history and provides them with the opportunity to assess your fit.
CV Checklist (from start to finish):
- Name, contact information and we would recommend adding your general location. There's absolutely no need for you to add your date of birth, National Insurance number or a photograph of yourself - save that valuable space for your skills and history.
- A personal profile at the top of your CV is a great way of providing a quick summary of what you are available for and provides you the opportunity to describe your attributes. This only needs to be a brief paragraph comprising of a few descriptive sentences.
- Always tailor to the particular role you're applying for - a good start is to reflect some of the same words/phrases terms that the advert uses (but don't copy word for word as that can come across as lazy). If you will be uploading it to a job board, add some popular keywords so you can be found quickly.
*For example if you are applying for an administrative role and the job advert details needing someone with a flexible attitude to working weekends, explain within your profile how you are able to do such. Remember you can always add upon this in a cover letter. Remember to save each version accordingly.
- Employment History: dates, job title and company along with a strong, clear description of your duties and achievements in the role. Rather than just simply list, employers will want to see how the positive impact you had.
Remember that recruiters/hiring managers may have a number of applicants to go through, so trying to present this as clearly as possible will be of great advantage. Don't be shy of using a bullet point if further detailing your duties to avoid the waffle.
- Are there gaps greater than 6 months in your employment? We recommend briefly explaining the reason so to stop any confusion.
- Read, read and read again. Does it flow, does it highlight you in the best light and the skills you need to stand out for that particular job? Are there any spelling or grammatical errors? A common mistake we see is the incorrect use of tense - make sure it's consistent and if you're describing a previous job, ensure you're writing in past tense. Avoid falling into the traps of repeating yourself and overusing the same vocabulary.
If you have anyone who can proofread it for you, ask away - there's no harm in having an extra pair of eagle eyes. You want to make the best impression as quickly as possible and having a confidently written and mistake free CV will hopefully draw the positive reaction you need.
- Try to keep it to two pages although we understand this may not always be possible particularly in more technically advanced roles or careers spanning over several years. If you are struggling with this, look over and reflect upon whether there are certain previous roles of more importance than others to the particular role/sector you're applying to - focus detailing the relevant ones.
- Is it presentable? An easy to follow structure is a must. If you're printing it off, use a good quality white paper and keep in a structured folder to avoid unwanted creases.
- Update it as regularly as possible. Avoid sending without having checked all relevant updates have been added. Has your role changed slightly and your responsibilities increased? Add them on! Saves you forgetting some valuable duties, and it's always good to see how you've grown too.
- OK to proceed? As well as applying directly for specific roles, we recommend if you're actively seeking work, add your document the variety of job boards out there and upload to recruitment agency's sites to enhance the likelihood of being identified for opportunities.
- Always have a back-up copy! Don't lose that valuable hard work you've put in - save on to an external device or even send it to your emails so it's there and ready to go.
Although a CV is not mandatory to register with us, we still recommend having one prepared prior to interview. If you have any further questions or wish to discuss how we can help further, please get in touch.