1) Prepare your CV before you start actively job searching
If you need a job, you are most definitely going to need a CV. You should make sure you have a completed CV before you start browsing for jobs. This means that when you start actively job searching, you can apply to anything that takes your fancy immediately. This is so much better than having to rush to finish the document before job vacancy closing dates. It also means you can take your time to create the perfect CV and don’t have to rush it all into a couple of hours or a day. (Now, if you’re reading this and you are up against a deadline – don’t worry. We still have 9 other tips to help you create the perfect CV. However, for future reference, try and update your CV every six months, even if you’re not job searching. This makes it easier for when you are! )
2) Make sure your details are displayed clearly across the top of your CV.
This is really important as it means you are easy to contact. It saves the employer having to search through your whole CV just to find your number, which means they are more likely to pick up the phone and call you.
3) Start with your most recent information
Regardless of the career you want to go into, you should always format your CV so that the most recent information will be the first thing the employer sees. You can do this by simply placing it first. You really don’t want the employer looking at something you did years ago and thinking you have no relevant experience in the field when you do – it’s just below everything else.
4) Don’t be afraid to use bullet points & make sure you use keywords
It’s okay to use bullet points as long as the lists aren’t too long. Bullet points are a great way for you to embody keywords into your CV so that the employer can skim read through to check you are suitable. Don’t forget that your employer is probably going to read hundreds of CV’s and so will spend most of their time skim reading. In fact, some companies use a piece of software before a human even sees it. These programs look for specific words or phrases that relate to the job spec and industry so make sure you include them!
5) Trim your CV & get rid of the irrelevant stuff
Your CV should be a maximum of 2 pages. Use plain English, avoid clichés and make sure you're not waffling. Remember you don’t have to detail every qualification and piece of work experience – if you have a degree, the grades you got for GCSE probably aren’t too important. Also, references aren’t necessary at this phase - you can simply write a sentence at the bottom saying ‘references available upon request.’
6) Format your CV & make it look clean and clear
The presentation of your CV is just as important as the content. Try and space items evenly and fragment long paragraphs with line breaks and bullet points. DON’T USE colours and a big edgy font. Use a simple, clean font which will make your CV easy to follow.
7) Tweak your CV & make it relevant
If you are applying to multiple positions, you should tweak your CV slightly to include keywords from the relevant job description. All of your employment history will stay the same, but you should slightly rearrange words so that you can show the employer that you have the exact skills they are after for that specific job.
8) Check your CV & make sure there’s no mistakes
Once the content is written, you should check, double-check and even triple-check that the grammar and spelling of your CV is perfect. Mistakes in your CV do not make you come across well. It doesn’t matter if you have all the relevant skills and experience, if you can’t spell and write properly – you could lose out on the perfect job.
9) Take a break and come back
If you’ve been spending a lot of the day editing your CV you may have missed something really small like chopping the end of a sentence off. If you’ve got time, leave it overnight and come back to the CV in the morning.
10) Have a friend/family member check over it
Once you think you’ve completely finished the document, it’s always worth having a friend check over it. They will supply a fresh pair of eyes and will spot mistakes you might have missed. If you are both happy with it – it’s time to find your perfect job!
Prestige Recruitment Group wish you the best with your job search. If you need help with interview prep, be sure to check out our other blog posts such as The Top 10 Interview Questions You Should ALWAYS Prepare For!
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