A good CV should outline your suitability and skills for a role and should stand out to ensure that they choose you over any other candidate. It’s said that recruiters on average spend only 8 seconds scanning a CV to see whether it fits the job requirements they are recruiting for. This is no time at all, so you need to make sure you have done all the necessary steps to ensure your CV will catch their attention.
Here are Bain and Gray’s top five tips to help you build a CV with maximum impact:
- Tailor your CV to the job you are applying for
It is so important to ensure that it is tailored to the job you are applying for. Recruiters look at multiple CVs for every job, so they want to see skills and work experience that match the role, quickly. Read the job description carefully and make a list of your key skills that relate to this and get them on your CV!
- Make it concise
Your CV should ideally be no longer than two pages of A4. Recruiters need to know about your skills and previous work experience so they can assess your suitability for the job on offer, but they have many CVs to read through in a day and won't be impressed with a detailed five-pager.
Rather than writing long paragraphs about time spent in a specific role, bullet point key bits of information. Address all the key skills required in the job description but remember that your CV is only the first step. Save the detailed explanation of your suitability for the role for your job interview.
- Don’t leave gaps
Leaving gaps in your career history just makes recruiters and prospective employers wonder what you were up to during that time. List any gaps in your career with a suitable explanation – whether it was a career break or travelling.
If you undertook any additional training during this period, make sure it's listed alongside any other activity you undertook which may have helped develop other transferable skills such as communication, team work or project management.
4. Remove the errors
One of the main reasons for CV rejection is errors and spelling mistakes. It's not likely that the recruiter is on the lookout for a literary god, but always check your CV for basic spelling mistakes and grammatical errors – don’t just use your spellchecker, get a friend or relative to proofread your CV as well.
5. Tell the truth
Always tell the truth about your skills and experience. If you don’t, you'll be caught out at some point – whether it’s during the interview process or, far worse, when you've got the job.
Most companies will check the facts you've stated like qualifications and previous employment history, but this also includes hobbies or interests you've listed.