5 top tips for improving your CV

Written by Sanderson Recruitment | Candidates | Posted 08/08/2019 12:08:42

Not getting the response that you hoped for in your job hunt? If you’re not getting through to interview, your CV may be in need of a refresh. We reveal our best techniques for helping your CV to go the distance.

When entering the job market, the first point of contact between yourself and a recruiter is normally your CV. It can be thought of as a first impression of your professional self, a summary of all your experiences and skills.

If you’ve been on the hunt for long and aren’t getting many interviews, you may be asking yourself, “Why is my CV being overlooked?” It could be that you need to make some improvements to your CV to get it past that first hurdle.

Not sure where to start?

Making sure that you have the below five steps covered can help to bring your CV up-to-date and help you stand out from the rest of the playing field.

Implement correct formatting

Before your CV is even read by a recruiter or hiring manager, the aesthetics of your CV will already give them a first impression about you. Because of this, correct formatting is a vital factor when putting together a CV:

  • An appropriate length for a CV is between 1-2 pages. Anything else and your recruiter may not read it all, leaving out vital parts of your professional life that deserve to be read. Keep your CV concise and think quality over quantity.
  • Aesthetically, using simple, legible fonts like Arial or Calibri and an overall minimalist design allows your CV to be read quickly and efficiently.

Even if you’re not a design-wiz, CV templates are readily available on the internet or on word processing programmes, ready to be personalised and tailored to your experiences and industry.

Use a tailored approach

When a recruitment consultant is seeking a candidate for their role, rather than finding the best candidate in general, they’re looking for the best candidate suitable to their role. With this in mind, try tailoring your CV to your role, as you would a cover letter.

If available, study the job spec and emphasis relevant sections on your CV to correlate with those requirements and prioritise those skills that the employer is actively looking for. This will likely be a time-consuming process but by tailoring your CV, the likelihood of it reaching the next stage of the recruitment process will be tremendously increased.

Show initiative

Taking the opportunity to demonstrate extra qualifications, skills or experiences always helps to differentiate yourself from the crowd. By adding a bit of personality, it can take your application from a good candidate for the job to a good candidate who would culturally fit in with the company:

  • Add your hobbies even if they’re nothing to do with your day-job; often, these can show transferable skills to a potential employer and that you’re a well-rounded person with a good work-life balance. They only need a sentence or two!
  • Online, accredited courses are an easy way to show your commitment to personal development and staying up-to-date with the latest technologies. Google Digital Garage, CodeAcademy and KhanAcademy are all excellent options.

Go digital

Nowadays, many candidates are integrating their digital lives with their professional by using the former to bolster the latter.

By adding in the links to various social media platforms and websites, you can give first-hand evidence of your achievements to your potential employer even before you get to interview. Show off your coding and UX experience by including a link to your website, display your creative flair through your Instagram account or include your LinkedIn url to demonstrate your professional opinions and development.

These links can prove invaluable to giving a first impression of what you can do to, rather than waiting for an interview or testing stage.

Stay truthful

In today’s competitive marketplace, it’s understandable in wanting to stand out from the crowd; certain roles may see hundreds of applications, with a variety of candidates wanting to win the job. This is why it’s even more important to stay truthful with your recruiter and not inflate your qualifications.

Not only is it possible that you’ll fail to progress to the next stages of role applications but should you, you’re wasting not only the time of the company you’re interviewing for but also your own in finding yourself more relevant roles and applying for them. Not only time, but you risk casting yourself in a bad light with that company that, should an opportunity with them arise in the future, may mean that you’re overlooked from your past experience with them.

Instead, take a look at the job spec for that role and take it as an opportunity to develop your skills and revisit similar level jobs within a year or two.

By implementing these simple tips, your CV will be legible, pleasing to the eye and brimming with personal development and personality, all things that make it much easier for your application to get to the next step.

If you’re looking for a new role, why not submit your CV to us? You can do so here!

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