With the job market picking up and more opportunities becoming available, it is more important than ever that your CV stands out from the crowd.
Whilst it is true that there are more opportunities, it is also true that you are likely to be up against several other candidates who all want the role that you want!
Many candidates think that once they have a CV the same document can be used for all applications; in truth, your generic CV is merely a starting point. Think of it this way – Your CV is a snapshot of your career history; a summary of your experience and skills.
Remember that the reader will be a recruiter looking to help you find the right role or an employer looking for the perfect candidate so you need to grab their attention and summarise why they should interview you above all the other applicants.
What can you do to grab their attention and make yourself stand out?
1. Firstly, you need to change your CV for every role that you apply for.
Make sure that the content emphasises the skills you have that match the job requirements. Read the job description and make sure that your CV makes it clear that your skills match their requirements. Don’t forget the ‘transferable skills’ that you have either – man management; systems you have worked with; working as part of a team; good communication skills; excellent customer care …….
2. Make your job title tell the reader more than your title.
You can be plain old ‘Surveyor’ or you can be ‘Surveyor with over 10 years’ experience working with uPVC’ or ‘Surveyor specialising in Conservatories and Orangeries’. Depending on what the employer is looking for, this is your first opportunity to headline your skill set and make yourself more memorable.
3. Describe your skill set and experience
Before you write your CV, make a list of the tasks you carried out during your time in each employment role. Chances are that there will be a recurring theme if you have worked in the same industry for a while but each job will have its own unique tasks as well. When you write your CV, emphasise the unique points that set you apart from all of the other applicants with experience in the same job as you.
4. Put your CV in the right order.
Employers are more interested in what roles you have done more recently than what you do at the weekend or what you did when you first left school. Your most recent employment and skills go at the top of your employment history and then work your way back down the timeline.
No - it’s nothing to do with your love life!
Make sure that you put dates against each employment role. You don’t need to break it down to exact date & time but most employers want to see the month & year. It gives them an impression of what kind of candidate you are – serial job changer or potential long term employee.
6. Include your industry qualifications and training
Make sure that your CV includes any industry training courses you have undertaken, details of any CSCS or MTC cards that you hold. Even if your qualification has expired include it (you can always renew it!).
Now then. Everyone has hobbies but, as much as the reader might like a peek into how you spend your spare time, no one needs to know that your dogs are called Bob and Pink and that you spend x amount of hours each weekend walking them & where; nor do they need a breakdown of your family tree. So, keep it brief!
8. Now here’s a good one……….what’s your email address?
We all have a sense of humour- well most of us do – but have a think about what your email address looks like to a potential employer. ‘Bigboy1982@email.com’ isn’t exactly screaming ‘professional’ is it?? While it might be a giggle when you give that one to your mates, chances are that when a potential employer reads it he / she isn’t going to appreciate the joke. They're also going to gain a mental picture of the type of person that would have that email address & the picture may not be a flattering one!
Your CV is a professional document & there are plenty of free email addresses available so make sure that your email address isn’t going to let you down!
So there you have it – the Chase Taylor advice on writing your CV! Good luck and if you do revamp your CV and you would like us to cast an eye over it and let you know if we have any advice, we are happy to do that.
And don’t worry – we’re not that harsh!