Consider re-writing your CV or a major re-fresh.

For anyone sitting in a hiring seat, their first point of reference when deciding to choose to interview someone or to reject them will be based on their CV.

Beyond a simple YES or NO, assuming you progress through a recruitment process towards a job offer, your CV is likely to be viewed by other people in the company!

These people may influence not only hiring decisions but also the grade and generosity of any job offer, furthermore they may be involved in future promotional choices.

Which means your CV needs to properly showcase your credentials.

When a hiring manager is making an assessment, he or she will be most interested in whether the prospective candidate is good and relevant.

The most CVs which are clearly relevant to the company, its line of business and the requirements of the role, are the ones most likely to result in an invitation to interview being made.

We recommend that you create a “Master CV” and then tailor it for the positions for which you wish to be considered.

Here’s our tips to help you:

1. Styling.

  • Simple styles tend to be best, unless you’re a professional designer or are using a CV writer. One font style, two or three text sizes, single colour and avoid underlining.
  • We’ve created CV Templates to help you, which you can access from the Job Search menu in the Featured section of our site.
  • The best CVs have plenty of white space, make use of line breaks and bullet points. For experienced hires a 2-page CV is the most popular in the readers eyes.

And the worst ones lack spacing, are text heavy i.e. there’s lots of content on the page. Too much information can mean none of it gets read! And will simply switch the reader off or give them a headache.

NB for technical positions there may be exceptions to the 2-page preference. With employers wanting to see specific skills, details of projects etc

2. Fundamentals

Name and contact details at the top of the CV to include your email address, mobile number and either your residential address or location.

An employer is more likely to get in touch with you if your contact info is at the front of your CV.

3. Profile

A profile gives you an ideal starting point to show how well suited you are for the opportunity for which you are applying i.e. a great place in which to tailor your CV to the needs of the opportunity.
Consider headlining any areas of relevant strength, skills / experiences and accomplishments or credentials such as certifications.

In some instances, it will be appropriate to state the kind of position you wish to take up. For example, if your skills are in an adjacent or multiple areas. This can work in your favour to qualify you in for a specific job, however, work against you for different jobs with the same company.

4. Your employment history…

  • Reverse chronological order (most recent positions first). This is what the reader will expect and find the easiest to read.
  • Context.

    Will the person reading your CV be familiar with the nature of your current and former employers’ lines of business without which your profile may lack context or relevance?

    Excepting the high-profile brands like Amazon, Coca Cola, Google, IBM, …. include a short perhaps two-line description of your employers’ line of business. If it is a big company you may wish to outline more specifically the business area in which you are employed e.g. Amazon online retail, Amazon grocery and Amazon Web Services.

  • Relevance.

    Some job titles are not widely recognised and whilst they may be understood within your employer’s firm may mean little or nothing to the outside world, so rather than using an obscure job title you may wish to use a straightforward one such as Financial Controller, Project Manager, HR Business Partner.

    In different occupational areas, hiring managers will be looking for specific qualities, so to help you showcase yourself at your very best, we’ve created a white paper outlining what employers are most likely to be looking for when hiring into the following job types:

    Accountants Consultants Creative types
    Customer services HR professionals IT Technicians
    Lawyers Management & Leadership Manufacturing & Operations
    Marketing Project Managers Research & Development

    You can click here to access our white paper CV Tips for Specific Occupations.

5. Facts and figures.

  • Most people fail to appreciate the importance of creating a CV which highlights and substantiates their credentials.
  • The best CVs are those which include achievements with facts and figures with an emphasis on the positive and showing scope and scale of responsibilities commensurate with the opportunities being applied for.
  • Without facts and figures, your CV will be non-descript and more likely to get rejected.

If you are a mature person make sure your CV is just 2 or 3 pages.

Long CVs (4 or more pages) presented by an older person will likely substantiate in a negative way the fact the person is older rather than younger.

There is a likelihood that you will be adding your most recent employment history onto an old CV, created perhaps decades ago.

Employers are most interested in recent experience, skills and accomplishments which have taken place over the last 5 years. What you did 10+ years ago is likely to have little or no relevance to the present.

Early career experiences such as those which took place 15+ years ago may only merit 2-3 lines of content. Simply outlining an employer name, job title, years of employment and one or two lines outlining your role.

The quality of your content may also need refreshing, standards increase over time and as your level of seniority progresses.

6. Education and Hobbies

Place these at the back of your CV. The older you are, the less the need for detailed information in contrast to younger people.

Including details of hobbies is somewhat a matter of preference. Many employers like to see that someone has interests outside of work.

7. Now check it properly

Time to check the quality of your work. Perform a spell and grammar check.
If a reader notices one spelling or grammatical error they will look for more and a simple mistake, or small number of errors may qualify you out of the running.
Have a friend or trusted advisor check over your CV, what do they think, have you missed something, have you included something perhaps you should not have…

With so much at stake, you may wish to engage the assistance of a professional CV writer to help you showcase yourself at 100%.

Click below to access our white paper CV Tips for Specific Occupations (PDF).