Whether you need to apply for a new job, or just need to update your recent accomplishments, filling in a Curriculum Vitae (CV) is not as easy as filling in a template, despite popular belief. Developing a CV is often intimidating as many are concerned about not having enough to show or maybe regard their achievements as uninteresting or unappealing.
However, although some companies and organisations are looking into more creative ways of recruiting, the traditional CV still remains the preferred tool for recruitment.
When applying for a job, it is essential to remember that your CV is a marketing tool where you can “sell” your relevant skills, qualities and expertise to a prospective employer. In the same way that a company presents its best products and services in a brochure, your CV presents the best version of you! This task requires a lot of prior work before actually writing the CV itself. This is because it is impossible to “sell” your skills and qualities, if you are not sure what these are. You also need to keep in mind what the employer is looking for.
In a study conducted by The Ladders.com in 2018, it was indicated that the average time employers initially spend looking at an applicant’s CV is just 7.4seconds! Yes 7 SECONDS! Employers scan the CV quickly, picking out titles and reading the information which is relevant to them.
So here are a few tips which can help you prepare a more striking CV:
– Make use of clear and simple layouts which help reading flow.
– Focus on what is essential. Since not much time is spent on the initial viewing, try to keep it brief. Do not write too much, irrespective of your education and/or experience.
– Focus on the aspects of your experience which are relevant to the job you are applying for. If and when possible, give specific examples of your skills and achievements.
– Update your CV as your experience develops and remove less relevant experience if not of any value to the specific role/position.
– Show your uniqueness. Show skills/achievements which make you different to anyone else.
– Last but absolutely not least, pay attention to spelling and punctuation. It might sound obvious, but many tend to bypass this essential step.
Therefore, it is always important to remember that although a good CV does not automatically mean you will get the job, a bad CV will not even let you reach the interview stage.
Ann Julene Hili is a Career Guidance Practitioner with Willingness. She specializes in working with teens and young adults who are in their educational and career transitions. She can be contacted on firstname.lastname@example.org or call us on 79291817.