CVs – Top 5 Tips

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CV

Sometimes it is difficult to see what is lacking in our own CVs when we are writing them.

We all know our own career histories well: our experience and why we would be perfect for that role in our dream organisation… but does our CV really demonstrate all that?

Recently I was asked to check some CV’s of newly graduated teachers, who were applying for their first permanent roles.

Listed briefly below, are my Top 5 Tips for reviewing your CV:

  1. Highlight that you are the right person for the job
  • What type of job are you applying for? Is it relevant to your experience or recent qualifications/training?
  • If not, how will you ensure your CV shows you could do this job?
  • Do you have transferable skills from volunteer placements, life experience or other jobs that show you could adequately do this role?
  • You may want to write a different style of CV if this is the case? A template highlighting: Skills, Knowledge & Experience/ Qualifications rather than a traditional chronological list of workplaces & dates. This is a particularly good CV format if you are returning to work after a long period of time.

 

2. Ensure your CV ‘ticks all the boxes’

What is the recruiter actually looking for? (not ‘War & Peace’ fitted into two pages)

  • Take the job advertisement & highlight what they have said are the ‘essential’ and any ‘desirable’ requirements
  • Highlight what are the required: ‘Skills’, ‘Experience’ & ‘Qualifications’
  • Also think about what ‘Behaviours’ they require? For example, have they said that the hours are not standard? If so, the need to demonstrate ‘flexibility’ will be key
  • Adding a profile section ensures that you can showcase your personality (behaviours). An area often forgotten about in the struggle to focus on highlighting skills, knowledge & qualifications

 

3. Personalise your CV to the profession, industry or sector

Is your CV too generic? Does it shout that you are a professional or have expertise in a specific area/sector?

If not, tailor it – one size does not fit all! (having more than one CV is common, depending on the types of role you are applying for)

  • Go through your CV and highlight the key facts that match the recruiter’s need (ie management skills, public sector experience or professional qualification)
  • Do you need to write a specific CV? ie: General management skills; Specific profession; or Industry/Sector CV

 

4. Make sure it is Clear, Concise & Correct

Is the information clear? Make sure the key facts jump out from the page – 1st impressions count

  • Use short sentences with descriptive language
  • Take out waffle & additional material that is not relevant
  • Always be factual – you will get caught out in an interview if you fib
  • Make sure your words are concise, descriptive and highlight key areas required

 

5. Ensure your CV has the ‘Pick me up & read me’ factor. Make it attractive. 

Think about the aesthetics of your CV. It is no good having a CV that is the perfect showcase for your experience, but looks boring or is full of typing mistakes. CVs are usually scanned before they are passed on to the person recruiting & often rejected if they contain errors.

  • Make sure you have clear headings, laid out logically – these guide the reader through the document
  • Use bullet points, text boxes & spacing to emphasise what is written
  • Ensure priority information is at the top, not hidden at the end
  • Use colour and bold to attract the reader’s attention – but don’t overuse
  • Check your CV for typos and spelling mistakes, then …
  • Ask someone else to give it an additional proofread to ensure the above

Good luck! 

If you have any questions, please contact us at remora.info@gmail.com or if you would like us to take a look at your CV, please contact us for details of our service.

 

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