- August 17, 2020
- Posted by: Kloverharris Content Manager
- Category: Assessment and Evaluation, Blog, Content Development, Customised Training Solutions, Strategy
A survey shows that employers take less than a minute to decide if an application is worth consideration. We thought we should help you prepare for that job you want to apply for any time soon—during and after the pandemic. You don’t want to be caught off guard when applying for that dream job right?
There is not set in stone method to writing an amazing Cv, but a few sure tips we offer a few short tips we have put to the test over time and some of the things that turned us off while going through some CVs.
Pay attention to detail
Those things that you think don’t matter, actually do. Friends can help you cross-check your CV to make sure everything is in order.
Keep it short
Go straight to the point. Delete experiences that do not fit the job you’re applying for. Whilst there is no set-in-stone rule regarding CV length, it’s best to try and keep your CV to around 2 pages.
2 pages are just enough space to tell readers your story without boring them.
Busy recruiters and hiring managers often see hundreds of CVs in a week, so they won’t want to read a 7 page CV. If yours is coming in too long, you need to shorten it down by cutting out irrelevant information.
If your CV goes a tiny bit over or under 2 pages, don’t panic… It won’t cost you the job – just try to keep it as close to 2 pages as possible.
Recruiters will judge you on mistakes, either in structure or in spelling or punctuation. “Use auto-correct, but also get other people to check for errors,”
Make sure it reflects you
The look and feel—making it polished and professional—is important. Don’t try to feign something you’re not!
Don’t be afraid to include personal information
A little bit about yourself wouldn’t be bad. It shows you have a life outside work activities and it presents you more human.
Don’t necessarily include a photo
It’s not compulsory. It sometimes makes people judge first by looks. If you’re going to add one, make sure it’s a good looking mugshot, other than that, please reconsider.
Do not use logo images
There is no need to include the logos of the companies you have worked for; they will make your CV file size unnecessarily big and often confuse CV scanning software.
Keep your CV simple by writing the names of all your employers.
Include plenty of detail on your current or most recent role
Your most recent role is the area of your CV that will be scrutinised the most by recruiters and employers, so it’s imperative that you provide enough detail to explain it fully.
Shorten older roles
If you are an experienced candidate with years of experience, there’s no need to write huge amounts of detail on your older roles.
Recruiters will be focusing on your recent work to understand your current capabilities, so shorten older roles down to brief summaries to give readers an idea of your career path.
Keep colours conventional
You want your CV to stand out, but make sure it stands out for the right reasons.
Using neon colours in an attempt to grab attention is a big mistake that will cast doubts over your judgement.
It’s OK to add a splash of colour (especially when applying to create a modern CV look) but don’t go crazy with it.
Keep the colour coding professional looking and don’t use more than 2 font colours throughout.
Avoid using skills graphs
Skills graphs like the one below are designed to give recruiters an idea of your levels of proficiency in certain areas.
The problem with them is that they offer no real tangible scale to readers.
If somebody tells you they rate themselves as a “15/16” in Photoshop, you still don’t really know how good they are.
Instead of using skills graphs, quote real tangible facts that recruiters can relate to.
Length of experience – “3 years HTML coding experience”
Qualifications and training – “Windows certified”
The scale of tasks – “Led a team of 5 in the management of a £50k event”
Tidy up your page transitions
Your CV is a professional document so it needs to look immaculate.
Keep your page transitions nice and tidy. Don’t allow them to look sloppy
Use professional language
Your CV should be a gleaming example of your written communication skills, so ensure that you write in a consistently professional manner.
Recruiters will assume that your CV language reflects the way you will communicate in the workplace, so construct your sentences properly and use a wide vocabulary.
A quick tip: If you struggle to write in a professional style, use a free grammar checking tool like Grammarly to improve your writing.
Use bullet points in your roles
Use bullet points in your roles descriptions to make them easy for recruiters to skim read.
Nobody wants to wade through a big chunk of unbroken text to find the information they want.
List your roles in reverse chronological order
Employers are most interested in your recent work to assess your current capabilities, so start your CV with your most recent role to ensure it receives immediate attention.
Explain gaps in your employment
If you have taken time out to travel, study, complete a personal project, or even due to illness; be transparent and include it on your CV.
an unexplained gap will make recruiters suspicious, and trying to cover gaps by falsely extending other roles may land you in trouble when it comes to reference checks.
Time spent outside of work can often involve plenty of skills (for example travelling requires organisation, planning, social skills etc.) so you can always put a positive spin on a career break description.
Include interesting hobbies
Everybody wants to know whether you’re a team player, not just in writing. Include hobbies that reflect some attributes you think they would want to see in you. E.g playing football portrays team spirit.