If you are contemplating exploring the job market or looking to re-energise your job search then now would be a great time to give your CV and your online branding a make-over.
Why? A recruiter (in-house or external) spends just an average of 7 seconds reviewing your CV, therefore it’s crucial that you maximise that initial impact.
How? Put yourself in the recruiter’s shoes; what do they want and need to know? Start with your name and contact details (phone, email, LinkedIn profile). Seems obvious, but I get at least five CVs a week that were missing some of this basic information or the details are wrong. Next you need a brief overview of who and what you are. Why you are unique. Think achievements, statistics and evidence. You need to hook them enough to get them to keep reading, but don’t make it war and peace!
Then we move onto career history, starting with your most recent role; dates of employment (month and year, making sure it’s up to date and accurate), your position held and the name of the company and location.
To bring YOU to life, rather than listing your job responsibilities or duties, turn these into achievements within the role by using action words: delivered, managed, produced, achieved, returned, maximised, instigated, reviewed, organised …. For a full list click here. But make sure you support these achievements with real facts and statistics e.g. delivered £1 million sales over a target of £750k, 60% of which was through new business opportunities.
If you have a longer work history, consider the role you are applying for and summarise those early roles, but remember recruiters are always wary of gaps. Then detail your education, starting with your most recent e.g. further education/degree. And then remember to list your skills such as languages and technological, particularly if they are relevant to the role you are applying for.
Your CV is often the first information that a potential new employer sees about you. The most savvy will then go on to Google and check you out on LinkedIn face book and twitter. So remember to hike up your privacy settings if there are some rather unsavoury photos of you letting your hair down! Also make sure your LinkedIn profile matches your CV …..
Also think about using branded me – this uses information from your LinkedIn profile to build your own personal website and only takes a few moments.
So, what NOT to include… marital status, DOB, full address, kids names, hobbies and interests, pictures. In short none of these are relevant to you being able to do the job you are applying for and in some instances may inadvertently give rise to discrimination.
Then finally those last golden rules ….
• Tailor your CV for every role you apply for by reading the job description and mirroring the language in your CV
• Be realistic in your expectations. If you don’t have the skills required you are unlikely to be successful in your application
• Do what is asked of you, so if it says apply with a CV and cover letter, do just that
• Proof read, proof read, proof read and then do it one more time! Get someone else to read it too if needs be
• And the most important one of all …. DON’T LIE! You are more than likely to be found out.