Your CV is the first, and possibly the last, impression that a recruiter gets of you. And yet so many people get it so wrong. Questions about CVs are the most common – usually “why’s my CV getting ignored?” Luckily, most CV issues can be solved really easily.
Below is a bad example of a CV from a perfectly good candidate. The new version shows the tweaks needed to create a really effective selling document.
Click here to view the old version.
Click here to view the new version.
Next, document layout has moved on from the days of tables and tabs. You never know how these are going to appear on the recruiter’s screen or print out, and they are a complete nightmare when it comes to editing. Avoid if possible.
Lots of jobseekers don’t realise that it might be a computer, not a person, that reads their CV. Recruiters log your CV in a database, and then find you based on a search term. So, use standard job titles like 'Financial Controller' that the recruiter is likely to search for, not 'Head of Finance, Credit and MI' or a similar company-specific title. And use industry-standard keywords and keyphrases that recruiters are likely to use; look at similar job ads to see what these phrases are.
Finally, never send an uncustomised CV when applying for a job.
- Always tailor it to the precise opportunity you are applying for – draw out the exact skills and experience that match the role.
- Never let a recruiter forward your uncustomised CV speculatively for other roles – insist on providing them with a version tailored to that role.
- Make a note of all the job boards where you register your standard CV – delete it each week, and repost one which is slightly different.
Get your CV right and it will make you stand out from the crowd.