Your CV is an important part for job search right from the beginning of your career onwards. It should gain attention of your prospective employer so it should be as good as you can make it. Take a look at our career tips for your next job search for more help with your job search and CV for job search.
Attention to detail
Don’t fall at the first hurdle with basic spelling and grammar errors. Check your CV thoroughly including on your word processor’s spelling and grammar checker, and pay attention to layout – make it inviting and easy to read.
There are certain important items to include:
Employers might use a filter system to check a CV for pre-selected phrases relevant to the position/ company. Therefore, select the ‘keywords’ used in the advertising to describe the position and the qualities sought. Use them throughout your CV for job search but don’t overdo it.
Tailor the CV for job search by emphasizing the most relevant achievements and parts of your history. Don’t be tempted to simply send them a ‘one size fits all’ CV.
Compose a brief opening statement of addressing you, your career to date and your accomplishments. This will grab the attention of the reader and help them quickly establish who you are and what you offer.
Keep it brief and punchy.
This may sound obvious, but your contact information should appear clearly at the top of the page. Your email address (just use one, not a selection from the umpteen accounts you have and preferably the one that sounds most professional) should appear with the rest of your contact details not buried somewhere at the bottom of the page.
Don’t forget a link to your LinkedIn profile if you have one. LinkedIn can be a really useful tool in an online job search.
Don’t just list the previous jobs you’ve held, convert them into achievements. If things improved as a result of your efforts in a previous job, then quantify them. Deal in facts, not abstract points.
The best of those achievements, in dotted form, should appear in your ‘opening statement’ described above in your CV for job search. Hit them with those early to show it’s worth reading on.
If you’re a younger applicant – perhaps a university graduate – then listing you have a full driving licence shows you’ve gone to the trouble of learning to drive and acquired a key life skill. It’s an achievement that proves your dedication and, on a practical level, means that it’s much easier for you to be able to travel to work and be flexible in your employment.
Your prospective employer will be looking for evidence you’re ‘talking the same language’ as they are, so try to illustrate the fact that the job being applied for and the company is exactly in accord with your aims and ambitions.
Don’t embellish or overdo it – you don’t want to come across as insincere – but you do want to illustrate that you are a good fit at the company and that the company would be a good fit for you.
Awards and training are worth mentioning in your CV for job search if they’re relevant to the position applied for, and some may even illustrate you’re prepared to ‘go the extra mile’ to acquire useful career skills.
Don’t forget a covering letter. Keep it brief, but this can be another opportunity to secure and hold the recruiter’s attention. As with the CV, make sure it’s professionally presented and spelling and grammar checked and impressive, relevant facts high up to catch their eye.