CV Writing Tips

The BBC wrote another article about the difficulties in the job market and redundancies accelerating with the government cut coming our way. Most people who feel they are not secure in their role will as a first port of call update their Curriculum Vitae. CV Writing is not that easy so thank god for the internet and search engines like Google where you will find 100’s tips, CV templates, examples and lots of companies who want to help you writing a “Great CV”. But would you really want to spend money when all that information is out there?

On average a recruiter will spend 10 seconds reading your CV. So you got 10 seconds to impress so you better get to the point and make sure your CV is relevant. This is a CV tip you see on every decent advice site. The problem is what does it mean and more important, how do you do it.

Before we shed some light on that lets look at what recruiters are looking at in these 10 seconds. Location is probably the easiest one to discard a CV. Job in London, you live in Manchester and you have not highlighted in your cover letter that you are considering relocating, your out.

Experience, well if you get to review hundreds of CV’s and it’s not clear you have relevant experience from the start, out. The same counts for industry experience. If they want someone from within telecoms and your not, tough, you’re out. Remember 10 seconds.

Achievements, if they require someone who manages certain sizes of budgets and you are not even close you have the same problem. Job level is another one, you’re a manager and they look for a director you wasted time applying for that roll.

Education, if they want a specific degree and you don’t have it or are not studying towards it, it’s not looking good either.

Finally, spelling, poor format, grammar, length and wooliness all get you on the discard pile.

Now we know how recruiters look at CV’s and what’s relevant for them we can start building our own.

Once you have a draft done send the job description and your “new” CV to 3 people. They key is to select the right people to send it too, they have to understand the roles you are applying for and they have to give honest feedback. Family and neighbours are often not good targets.

The question you need to ask them is; on a scale of 1 to 10 how likely do you think I will be invited for an interview” if they answer anything below a 9 ask them what needs to be improved. Use that feedback and try 3 other people. Eventually your CV will be ready to pass the 10 seconds test.

If you are still not getting that many responses it might be time to talk to a career coach

Click for Funny and common CV Mistakes Infographic

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