5 Tips for a Better CV

5 Tips for a Better CV

Your CV is a really important element of searching for a job. It is the first thing future employers see and it can make or break a decision on whether to give you an interview for the job you applied for. It is important to have a CV that not only stands out but has all the right information on it necessary for the employer to know whether you're a perfect fit for the role. I have been to many a job interview where one of the first comments I have received is a compliment on my CV, but trust me, it took me a while to get to the point where I feel confident handing over my CV to a potential employer. I spoke to CV specialists, HR managers, recruitment agencies etc etc to finally find the perfect CV format and now I want to share a bunch of their tips on my blog, because I know how hard it is to figure out what is right for the CV, what needs to go and where to get creative. 

We have all read the horror stories about an HR manager receiving 50 applications and just dumping 25 of them straight into the bin without a second glance. No one knows if this is true or not, some say definitely not, others say they woulsn' be surprised. So you want to make sure someone would feel they missed out if they were to chuck your CV in the bin pile. Make it eye-catching and make sure people will want to read more. There are so many ways you can do this, I edited my layout on photoshop before turning it to PDF and editing in my text. Doing this allowed me to make it unique, add some colour, make it easier to read and it is one of the first things people comment on when we chat about my CV, People always mention how it caught their eye and was unique because mine has a little pink section down the side with all my contact info and main skills. Here is a link to a CGD article where you can see places to buy unique and colourful templates for your CV. 

If you are on the lookout for a job always make sure you're making little edits to your CV based on the role you are on the lookout for and applying to. Many places including recruitment agencies are using software to sift through their application and pinpoint ones suitable for the role based on buzzwords. If you are applying for roles that are of a similar nature such as social media and digital marketing you don't have to do this. If you are looking for a bit of a mixture of roles then you should have a different CV for each role you're looking for and use buzzwords that relate back to that role. This makes sure that your CV isn't deleted from the process just because it isn't specific enough. Always be specific with the skills you provide. If you want a role in social media, show that you have an interest and skills in social media by including the words 'social media marketing' it isn't enough to describe it is marketing and hope they understand you mean specifics too. 

5 Tips for a Better CV

The thing with the length of your CV is it has to be perfect. It cannot be too long nor too short, it has to have enough information on it that the company feels confident in giving you the role, but it also has to have just relevant information so they don't get bored of you describing the past 20 years of work leading right back to your high school results. Everyone I have spoken to has told me that two A4 pages are the perfect length, not only does it give enough room for relevant information, but also enough space for you to get creative and provide your main skills and experiences without droning on forever. 

When you go for an interview most people will talk through your CV going from your most recent experience into your first experiences in the industry. If you know the run through of your CV perfectly from beginning to end you can talk through these points seamlessly without um'ing and ah'ing. Try to focus on your most recent experiences and explain the things you haven't included on your CV. Don't just say exactly what is on your CV tell them the roles and responsibilities you have had previously that you don't highlight in your CV. Try to give examples of when you were given responsibility when you were able to build upon skills, put yourself out there etc etc. Don't just assume a short few sentence summary on your CV is enough, they want more grit, more explanations and information about your experience not just "I worked here for this time and did this". 

Make sure your CV portrays you in the most effective light. CVs are the deciding factor in your interview, so you haven't had the chance yet to let your personality shine in an interview. You can, however, give your potential employers a feel for your personality in your CV. This can be done through your exciting, creative layout showing a bit of personality, or the colours you choose, remember the connotations for colours are important. If your CV is red, red is a colour most often associated with things like anger and fire, so not exactly how you want to come across. Mine has a little bit of a light, millennial pink showing my young, bubbly and feminine personality. You can give the interviewer a taster of your personality before the interview through your CV. 

Do you have any tips for a better CV? Tell me them in the comments or catch me over on social media: 

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