At the start of a new year many people get their CV out of cold storage, get rid of the dust, and start sending it out into the world again applying for new positions. However, it might be an idea to give your CV a bit of a freshen up. This could make all the difference in getting selected for an interview so we have listed 5 tips to help get your CV into shape!
1. Grammar and Spelling
A fantastic looking CV with great content can be ruined if it has grammatical errors or spelling mistakes. If a recruiter sees these mistakes they may not read much further and move onto the next CV. Therefore it is really important to proofread the CV. Again, again, and again. Also, ask somebody else to read it as well as they may spot something you have missed. Completing this process will ensure there are no obvious errors which will diminish your application and take away from your fantastic experience and skill set.
2. Font and Style
Before you send your CV for an application, take a look at the style and how easy it is on the eye. A CV should be simple to read and not ‘over flashy’. It should be a practical document which sells your experience and skill set. This is also how a recruiter will want to see it formatted. However, if you go online and search for examples many ‘wacky’ and ‘inventive’ formats can be downloaded as a template. It is worth noting many of these CV’s will not be for the UK market or not endorsed by UK recruiters. Keep to a simple format in a style that a recruiter will want to see. Try and see it from their side and ask yourself how is the best way to present the CV.
If you find you are struggling with the format and style, it might be worth thinking about approaching a professional CV Writing company. They will be able to design your CV in a modern and engaging format with experience of knowing exactly what recruiters want to see.
3. Responsibilities vs. Achievements
A common mistake many people make is simply listing what they do in their job. What this does not do is sell your skill set or accomplishments. Therefore look at your positions and write down your key achievements, how you met these, then also how they can be measured. If, for example, you increased turnover by £1.5m in 2017 state this loudly and proudly! Achievements add depth to a CV and the reader will then see what value you could add to their company and position. They also help to engage the reader and keep them interested rather than line upon line of basic information that they do not need to know.
4. In-House Jargon
Remember your CV will be read by someone who quite likely has never worked at a company you have been employed by. Therefore try and stay away from words and jargon that only someone who has worked in your company will understand. An example of this may be ‘Responsible for using KIT system and feeding this back to TIPSTER in a timely manner’. You may be fully aware of what KIT and TIPSTER are, but the reader will not be. It sounds like an obvious piece of advice but many people when writing a CV overlook this error. Break down this information in general terms so the reader understands the content clearly.
5. Getting Bored Near The End
If you read a lot of CV’s you will notice a common trend. Many people will focus on a role adding content and depth for a job they liked or did recently. Then each employment role that follows can deteriorate in style, effort, and content. It is very important to write in the same style for each role and add quality content with equal vigour. Do not get bored near the end and start to streamline experience just to finish off the CV a bit quicker. By all means target information on less recent roles, but only if this adds to the CV and is done for positive reasons. Some CV’s can even look like older copies mixed with newer ones which have had sections copied and pasted. This will show lack of effort and result in a negative impact. It really is worth the effort keeping the quality the same throughout. Take a break if you feel you need one then go back to the CV with a fresh eye!
All of the above might sound like common sense; but each of these areas needs to be in your mind as you plan, design, and write your CV. It is easy to fall into making the mistakes listed above so ensure your CV has a fresh new look which takes all the above into account. If you do this then your CV will stand out helping you rather than other applicants progress to that all-important interview!
About Chris Pennington
Your CV Consultant was founded by Chris Pennington who has had a successful 15 year career in Financial Solutions Management and as a Personal Insolvency Specialist. Within this time he has built up a wealth of experience in CV Assessment, Recruitment, Interviewing Candidates, and Career Coaching.