Why your CV makes ALL the difference

We all know the importance of a great CV in securing your dream job. Ultimately, your CV is the first impression any prospective employer has of you, and the bottom line is that based on this document, recruiters and HR will decide whether they will invite you in for an interview, and that is your make or break chance to impress. So can you really afford to not make your CV stand out from the crowd?

We have previously discussed the qualities of a great CV, and the internet is full of this information, but for many this information whilst helpful, can be overwhelming and often difficult to apply. After all graduates, mid and senior level executives and academics, all should, according to experts, have different focuses to their CV.

In summary here are some key points you should have in mind when writing your CV:

The first page of your CV is the most important

Most recruiters and HR receive multiple applications and initially review CV’s quickly, looking for key points, words and phrases that stand out to them so you need to ensure that you highlight your most important experiences early on.

Ensure you highlight your relevant skills for the job

Whilst this sounds obvious, most candidates fail to highlight all their relevant skills or experience for the job they are applying for. Don’t assume recruiters can or will read between the lines and so your CV needs to be clear and concise. The reader must be able to quickly see that you have the relevant skills they are looking for.

Should I include a personal summary?

If you do write a profile keep it short, sweet and to the point, and ensure that’s its relevant for the job. There is absolutely no point having a profile which does not add any real value or does not represent or reflect you. Keep in mind your personal summary is your ‘opening speech’ so make it memorable.

Professional experience

Ensure you list your duties and responsibilities in a clear and concise manner, and in a reverse chronological order, so most recent jobs first. Bullet points are generally preferred and easier to read. Avoid at all cost long winded, essay like paragraphs, and where possible try and highlight measurable accomplishments, successes and achievements. These often also form the basis of discussions at interview.

Does it matter what order my CV is in?

You can be flexible on the order of the sections of your CV, just ensure your strongest areas are highlighted on the first page. Strictly speaking though contact details should always be at the top. The other sections can vary depending on whether you are looking to highlight these. For example a recent graduate with limited work experience will typically put their education at the top,whilst a senior executive with many years of experience would highlight their work experience first as their education becomes less relevant.

Overall it is worth remembering that with CV writing no one size fits all and it’s imperative to tailor your CV to each job you apply.

If you would like professional help with your CV, take a look at our new CV Services be happy to assist you.

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