Imagine you've spotted an advertisement for your dream role. You decide to apply so you brush off the long standing CV and quickly dump in the missing details from your current role. You then proudly hit submit with your fingers crossed. Sounds familiar? Unfortunately this is the scenario for many disappointed applicants, the thing is, there is an art and science to creating a CV that hits the mark. But, before I share a few simple tips that will help your CV get noticed I'd like to provide you with an incite into the hectic world of a recruiter/hiring manager… depending on the role to fill, a recruiter could expect to receive anything from 50 – 500+ applications for a single job, can you imagine the challenge they face to effectively screen each CV so that they can find the best candidates to put forward to the next stage! On average they will spend roughly 6-7 seconds scanning each CV. It sounds tough but in most cases it’s true just so they can get through the volumes of applications.
What's needed is for you to make it easier for them to see how good you are, here are the 5 simple tips you can take to help your CV stand out from the crowd.
1) Word format
As technology advances, some applicant tracking systems now use artificial technology to scan and carry out the initial CV screening. This technology can sometimes struggle with finding the information it is searching for if a document is produced in a table format. Always create your CV in a word format and use tabs instead of a table so you are sure that whoever the reader, they can see how you match the application criteria.
2) Keep it simple
It’s been said many a time that less is more; this is really true when it comes to creating your CV.
Your strengths and experience should always be the star of the show. Using a splash of colour to break the black and white monotony is fine, but avoid using complicated templates, boarders and photos as they can often detract from your content.
CV’s should always be up to date and relevant, relevancy usually means the last 10 years and this is especially true when it comes to types of technology you may have used. Aim to showcase and provide more detail about your most recent skills and experience (last 10 years). You can always create a tabbed table the covers your full employment history.
The benefit of this is that it also reduces the size of your CV to a suggested maximum of 4 pages.
4) Show your value
A huge challenge when writing a CV is the temptation to cram in every responsibility and skill. However, it’s much more effective to curate your skill set and adjust your CV to every role you are applying for. Do this by carefully reading what the hiring manager is looking for in the job description and then consider the types of skills and experience you have that would demonstrate the most value you can bring to the role. This will then reduce the “noise” on your CV making it easier to highlight the relevant responsibilities, skills and achievements so that you can get noticed
5) Apply early
You spot your dream role and notice that there are still a few weeks left until the application closing date. You decide that you’ll wait until the last minute so you don’t look too keen or in the hope that your CV will stand out as the memorable lucky last application. Only, when you finally go to apply for the role you find that the application has been removed. The moral is to always apply as soon as you can, if a recruiter has been inundated with applications they may close it early.
If you are actively searching for roles, looking to explore new career options or would benefit from coaching on your professional development, Contact me to findout how I could support you or to arrange session