How to bullet-proof your CV?
Today’s job market is challenging and fast moving – you only have a few seconds to make your CV stand out when a recruiter or hiring manager is reviewing it to ensure it doesn’t end up in their trash folder…
However there really is no rule set in stone when it comes to influencing a recruiter or HR professional to decide that you are the “one”. However, with a little bit of effort and creativity – as well as realistic expectations – you can safe guard your CV and produce something fairly impressive that will represent the very best of what you have to offer to recruiters and lucrative organisations.
Ideally you need to ensure you document your story in a way which is noteworthy and compelling, without coming across as being arrogant or over-the-top ridiculous. This can be a delicate balance, but it’s totally doable, particularly if you abide by a few basic rules.
Here are a few ways to ensure you represent yourself in the best light possible so that your CV gets the nod from a recruiter or hiring manager:-
1. Get to the point
Summarise fluently by being brief, punchy and relevant. If you’re answering a specific job posting you can integrate the job title into your objective. Or if you’re open to other positions within the company you can indicate this as well, but don’t just throw out some lofty, generalised drivel about how you are an accomplished professional who wants a challenging position with a dynamic company.
2. Customise your CV for the intended audience
Adapt and personalise your CV based on the job you are applying for. Incorporate the same lingo the advert and organisation uses to align your application. But be careful, though. Overuse of certain keywords can look ill-considered and false – you need to be sincere and convey your experience efficiently. And make sure that one version of your CV doesn’t contradict another in any way.
3. Avoid cliché words and sayings
Try to keep your adjectives simple and relevant. The reviewer of your application cringes every time he or she comes across the same drivel ridden self-descriptions time and time again. It’s unimpressive so forget over-used words and phrases and try to be a little original. Quite often a short, simple description will do.
4. Be subtle when using design elements
Whether you’re formatting an online CV or a print CV you want to strive for visual appeal and distinctiveness, not visual distraction. Use only one or two fonts and colours with a minimum of intricate details
5. Be concise and specific with your achievements
You’re expected to put yourself in the most favourable light possible, so quantify briefly whenever possible when outlining key achievements in previous roles, e.g., “I increased conversion rates by 35% within 6 months.” If you cannot quantify or at least qualify why you have included the bullet then consider leaving it out of your CV.
Finally, please ensure you proofread your CV and application numerous times. It is wholly unacceptable for grammatical mistakes to be strewn across your CV and this is a sure way to ensure your application ends up in the bin. It is important that every communication you send out on behalf of your job search is as close to perfect as you can make it.