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A CV is one of the most important documents employees will ever write in their career.
Dissertations, exams and even your GCSEs or Standard Grades can change your career path, but all that hard work will amount to nothing if your CV does not accurately reflect your expertise.
Employers did not see your day-long library sessions at university or your exhausted complexion as you woke up at 6am for your unpaid placement. Their only understanding of you is what they read in your CV, making the document exceedingly important.
However, despite recruiters always stressing the importance of an engaging CV, schools, colleges and universities do not put enough focus on teaching their students how to promote themselves accordingly in their job applications.
How should I review my CV?
A stumbling block for many jobseekers is that they do not know the best ways of promoting themselves through their CV.
To make improvements to an application, individuals need to ensure they have a standard to aspire to. The best way of finding a strong CV is by speaking to friends or family who have recently gained roles and looking at how they advertise themselves.
You should not replicate the structure of your friends’ CVs, but they can be useful as a starting point. Aim to personalise your document in a way that highlights your personal strengths. For example, graphic designers should ensure their CV looks engaging and colourful, rather than being primarily text-based.
On the other hand, copywriters’ need to guarantee their applications are free of typos and written in a stylish and engaging way. Irrespective of your qualifications, you will be disregarded if your CV contradicts your abilities.
The most important elements of your CV also need to be highlighted clearly, or it will be difficult for recruiters to identify your best skills. Relevant experience and degree grades need to be placed at the top of the document. Bosses often have minimal time to read through applications and it is key that what they read is worthwhile and engaging.
Get straight to the point!
Jobseekers need to ensure their CV is concise and well-written. Every sentence needs to sell the applicant to the reader, or it will not catch their attention for long enough.
There are cases when highly capable workers are ignored in favour of candidates with fewer skills who have promoted themselves more effectively on their CV.
To increase your chances of getting a job, highlight all of your strongest attributes with bold text or enlarged font. This will make these facts stand out to recruiters. However, this should be done in a tidy and organised way. Perhaps introduce a Word colour scheme for your document to guarantee it is styled consistently.
If you are unsure how to improve your CV with Word, speak to friends with experience of using the programme. There are a number of preset layouts designed to smartly showcase your capabilities.
Put your CV to the test!
Trial and improvement is one of the best ways to boost your CV. Review your CV based on the responses you receive. If you have sent out 20 job applications without any responses for roles you are qualified for, it is clearly time to make some changes.