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Looking for your first job, yet not quite sure how to write a CV that will get noticed by employers?
On the flipside, perhaps you felt overly confident that you knew how to prepare your CV, wrote it in flurried haste, and now feel just about ready to blast it out to every recruitment agency and company under the…erm…Autumn rainclouds. But before you click ‘send’, hold fire!
Research shows that hiring managers receive an average of 75 CVs for every job they post, and that nearly 40 percent spend just one or two minutes reviewing an application. For these reasons, you need to ensure that you know how to write a CV which is easy on the eyes, yet stands out from the pile and gets you noticed by employers.
Ever waxed poetic with little white lie, divulged too much information about your personal interests, or littered a page with jargon and graphs? In short, is your CV a trick or treat? If your CV writing skills sit a little too comfortably with the former category, then read our top tips which will show you how to write a CV that won’t end up in the casket of broken dreams…
Knowing how to prepare your CV (much like knowing how to put together your Halloween costume) is an art which, if mastered correctly, will ultimately turn heads as you stand out from the rest.
Let’s face it, many jobseekers view the task of writing a CV much like how all of us view fiends and ghouls – with fear and dread. More frightening still is the prospect of actually sending a CV, only to find out that you’ve left recruiters and employers feeling rather spooked.
The first step to overcoming your fears is knowing how to prepare your CV. While it may sometimes be a challenge knowing what details to feature in order to get your CV noticed by employers, knowing what not to include could ensure you don’t end up being the grim reaper of your own career prospects.
To find out more, read our DO’s and DON’T's that will show you how to get your CV noticed by employers, and avoid becoming just another Halloween horror story:
Yes, you might have been the ‘master of mixing cocktails’ at the pub you worked for during summer breaks from university study. But unless you are planning on redeeming that title, this is not how to get your CV noticed by employers. No hiring manager seeking a Legal Team Assistant will look twice at someone who can throw an intoxicating potion together. You should also avoid including a job on your CV if you only held the position for a short period of time, especially jobs you were let go from or didn't like.
Although your past work experience may not initially appear to be directly relevant to the job you’re applying for, it’s important to note that it may showcase personal attributes and transferrable skills that are relevant to the role. As a general rule, you should only include this experience if it really showcases additional skills that can translate to the position you're applying for.
You should also research your target roles thoroughly to identify your most sought-after skills and ensure they are made prominent at the top of your CV.
A CareerBuilder survey asked 2,000 hiring managers for memorable CV mistakes, and blatant lies were a popular choice. One candidate claimed to be the former CEO of the company to which he was applying, another claimed to be a Nobel Prize winner, and one more claimed he attended a university that didn't exist. While these may seem like quirky and creative ways to get your CV noticed by employers, the end result won't be all that beneficial to you.
According to the very same survey, about 42 percent of employers surveyed said they would consider a candidate who met only three out of five key qualifications for a specific role. Remember whenever you feel unsure how to write a CV, and concentrate on the skills you can offer, rather than the skills you can’t.
You will never get your CV noticed by employers if you make hiring managers wade through large paragraphs of text. Instead, you will risk losing their interest quickly. You should also avoid including salary information or reasons for leaving your current company, as this information may end up sending the wrong message. Your CV is intended to showcase your professional experience and skills, so the issue of salary and career transition should only be addressed in the interview process.
Most importantly, you should avoid including your current work contact information. Do you really want recruiters calling you at work? How would you handle that?
Recruiters are pushed for time, so they will usually spend a few seconds skimming your CV for must-have terms before they decide to commit to reading it fully. To pass this preliminary test, make your CV extremely easy to read with a clean, simple font, clearly divided sections and short, sharp points. Providing a pleasant reading experience and reflecting the recruiter’s needs in your CV will hold their attention and create a perfect first impression.
So you’ve learned how to get your CV noticed by employers, and the next step is finding a job. Whether you're looking to kick-start your career, or just simply contemplating a job switch, why not contact us? At Search, we recruit for a wide range of roles within a variety of sectors which you can view and apply for today!