If you're on the hunt for a new job, a strong CV is essential if you want to grab the attention of potential employers. It is often the first thing a recruiter will look at, so it's important you use it to sell yourself as much as you can. A professional CV writing service can help you achieve this, but here are some simple ways you can improve your CV, right now.
Tailor your CV for each job
If you're applying for various different jobs, you may be tempted to send the same CV to all recruiters to save yourself some time. But, if you want to stand out from the crowd, it's worth going the extra mile and tailoring your CV for each application.
Every business has its differences and will be on the lookout for their own specific set of skills and qualities in a candidate. Improve your CV by doing your research on each company and read the job description thoroughly so that you can identify what each role demands. You can then emphasise any appropriate experiences or training that make you right for each position and rephrase any sections accordingly.
Pull out keywords from each job description and find ways to use them in your CV. This will highlight to the recruiter that you have really thought about the job in question, that you understand what it is they are looking for and that you have what it takes.
Include a personal statement
A personal statement is a fantastic way to improve your CV and provides an initial snapshot of your suitability for a role. Write a brief, clear and concise paragraph at the top of your CV summarising for the employer your skills, personal attributes and ambitions. If you're struggling with what to write, begin by listing your strengths (or ask a friend to help you!) and then bulk it out a little bit, making sure to use buzzwords. This should be adjusted for each position you apply for.
Be careful not to overload the personal statement with too much information and instead use the work experience section of your CV to delve further into the particulars of your employment history.
Check the formatting
First impressions count, so make sure your CV is well-formatted and that the information you provide is presented in a clear way.
Ensure your CV doesn't look too overcrowded and check the design isn't too distracting. Recruiters often have lots of CVs to trawl through, so make it easy for them to obtain the details they need as quickly as possible. Dividing information under subheadings and using bullet points to summarise your achievements will ensure your CV is easy to read.
Quantify your achievements
Improve your CV by quantifying your achievements. If you've stated you increased sales in your last job, demonstrate how well you did this by providing specific figures. Help the recruiter by giving them a firm indication of how much you have achieved and grown in your previous roles, as this will allow them to gauge how suitable you are for the job.
Don't forget your extra-curricular interests
While it's important to demonstrate you have the necessary experience and appropriate skills for a job, improve your CV by highlighting any relevant extra-curricular interests you have outside of the workplace. This will enable a recruiter to see your passion for a particular field extends beyond employment and that you're likely to be an ambitious and reliable candidate.
Don't leave gaps
Your CV should be no longer than two pages, and while it's vital you get the most relevant experience down on the page, avoid leaving any gaps in your employment history. Recruiters may question any glaring omissions, so summarise less relevant experiences in a line or two to avoid any doubt.
Get a second opinion
It's easy to miss mistakes and spelling errors if you've been looking at something for too long, so ask someone you know and trust to take a look at your CV for you before you send it out. This will help you identify anything you might be missing.
Ask a friend or family member to be honest about the impression they get about you from your CV, and if there's any room for improvement.
Remember, honesty is the best policy
If you're invited to interview, the recruiter will inevitably draw on some of the information you've provided on your CV. As such, don't be tempted to stretch the truth and be honest about your experiences to avoid being caught out at a later stage.
Author: Andrew Arkley, founder of PurpleCV