Whether you’re looking for work experience, trying to land a full-time job or pursuing your dream career, if there’s one thing you need it’s a winning CV, whether you pen it yourself or opt for a CV writer.
A CV not only provides your information and experience in an easy-to-read format but it is the first experience a recruiter will have of you as a potential employee. This means that you need to wow them with information that you can expand upon when you are invited to interview.
Competition for the top jobs is fierce, but your CV has the power to swing the odds in your favour. For the best chances of your CV making it to the ‘yes’ pile, here are the 10 things you absolutely need to know:
1. Research Is an Essential Element of Great CV Writing
Even if you know the industry and position you’re applying for inside out, it’s still important to put in research time. Researching the position and relevant job posts will give you an insight into the skills and requirements needed, along with the kind of language recruiters are looking for in your CV.
The first place to look is the job description, there you’ll find a plethora of information about job requirements. It’s then up to you to put the pieces together and showcase how your work history and achievements have given you the skills needed for the position you desire.
By demonstrating how you meet the job description, you are more likely to pass through the initial CV sift and be selected for interview.
2. Keywords Are Not an Optional Extra
Your research will also give you an idea of the keywords needed to make your CV appealing to humans and computers. With 75% of recruiters utilising applicant/recruitment tracking software to speed up and improve recruitment, keywords have become an absolute essential for a winning CV.
The type, frequency, and position of your keywords will firstly help to get your CV read by a human; secondly, streamline your CV and make sure you focus on what’s relevant; and thirdly, ensure you’re using the best terminology.
However, there are no specific keywords that are relevant to every job you may apply for, meaning that you will need to consider the appropriate language to insert each time you make an application.
3. There Are Many Things Your CV Needs to Include
You only have between 5 and 7 seconds – the average time recruiters spend reading a CV – to make an impact, but that shouldn’t come at the expense of necessary information.
To impress recruiters, you need to get the basics in, such as your:
- Personal statement
- Education/ qualifications
- Employment history/ work experience
- Key skills
Anything irrelevant needs to go! Recent positions should be more detailed than older positions and you should trim or exclude irrelevant experience and school grades. Don’t spend time trying to extend your CV to be as long as possible, recruiters will appreciate a detailed, but concise document.
4. You Can Link to Your LinkedIn Profile
A CV should be around 2 pages long: much shorter and you risk leaving out crucial information; much longer and you risk boring the recruiter.
To give recruiters more information, you can add a link to your LinkedIn profile that will allow them to find out more about you if they wish to. An up-to-date profile will showcase your qualifications and abilities in greater detail and help you to stand out from the competition.
Recruiters are big fans of LinkedIn! Around 95% of recruiters use LinkedIn for social recruitment, so if you aren’t on LinkedIn yet, now is the time to get started!
5. Numbers Are Great for Communicating Your Value
If you know where and how to use them, numbers can have a far greater impact than words.
Instead of saying:
‘Led a large team for several years’
You can say:
‘Led a team of 90 for eight years’
The second example has a much bigger impact than the first. You’re not only telling employers much more about your past experience and what you’re capable of, but you’re backing it up with measurable data.
6. Employers Will Judge You on Your Professionalism
From start to finish, a CV writer should display professionalism. Recruiters ignore 76% of CVs that include an unprofessional email address. As well as professional email addresses, CVs should include professional:
- File names
- Job titles
- Details (including, name, contact details and address)
Personal details like your age, religion, marital status, photograph, salary and Twitter account handle are not needed!
7. Every Job Application Requires a Tailored CV
It’s not good enough to write a winning CV for one job and then reuse it, you need to tailor your CV to every job you’re applying for. That means you may need to tweak the keywords, alter the skill section, and add or remove elements of your work history and experience.
You may not have to rewrite your CV in its entirety, but for the best chances of landing an interview, it should be relevant and tailored to the job and company.
8. Format Is Just as Important as Content
To go along with your perfectly worded CV, you need the right format. If the format isn’t attractive and effective, then you risk getting rejected after just a quick glance.
Elements of a winning CV format, include:
- Short sections of text
- Clear section divisions
- Small margins
- Reverse chronological order for achievements/ employment history
- No logos or images
- Classic typefaces (such as Calibri, Times New Roman and Arial)
- Small font size (10.5 – 12)
- Traditional colours
- Clean page transitions
- Bullet points
9. You Need to Edit and Proofread Thoroughly
Something as small as a typo could land your CV in the bin. Even if your CV dodges the bin after a grammar or spelling error, you’ve missed your chance to make a good first impression.
Properly editing and proofreading your CV, and then doing it again and a third time for good measure will help to prevent avoidable mistakes from destroying your chances of getting a job. If possible, get a friend to check your CV for errors before sending it or employ some editing services to give it the once over before you start to share it.
10. You Can Get Professional Assistance from A CV Writer
Nobody knows you better than yourself, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that you’re the best person to write your CV. Knowledge of your own skills and experience doesn’t automatically translate into knowledge of CV formatting, grammar rules, keywords and everything else that goes into writing a winning CV.
If you’re struggling with any aspect of CV writing, then you can enlist the help of a professional CV writer. CV writing services can help you to fine-tune your CV, and a CV writer will ensure you’re portrayed in the best light and eliminate any formatting, grammar and spelling errors.
Hiring a CV writer service to perfect your CV is akin to having a friend with an in-depth knowledge of industry keywords, impactful writing and excellent CV structure check it over.
Need a little help turning your CV into the professional document that recruiters and employers are looking for? At Anglo Content, you can hire native English writers who are highly experienced in job document creation, from crafting winning CVs to writing killer cover letters.