Now, most of the articles on the Internet will tell you that the key to a winning CV is tailoring. A fair answer, but you must be wondering how. When seeking further guidance, you will find that many people give you contrary advice on how to set it out, what to include, and how detailed your CV should be. Although every CV is different, your employers have only two courses of action: it’s either BIN or INTERVIEW.
So how do you stand out from the crowd in under 10 seconds? Follow these easy steps to stop employers binning your CV and impress them enough to be invited to the next stage.
Bring out your strengths! There are endless amounts of applications being made for one job offer/graduate scheme. Thousands of students across the country and even from abroad are graduating in the same year as you and share your exact same goal – land that job! Employers are therefore spoilt for choice. It is you that needs to prove yourself. You are an individual, you are unique, so capitalise on your unique achievements. Whether you have excelled at sport, ascended to the Mount Snowdon peak, or scored the highest in one of your essays – state it! Your unique achievements definitely make you stand out. Importantly, they also highlight that you go for the win in your activities — a trait the evidence for which every employer wants to see!
Show How You Add Value. How many times a day do you think graduate recruiters skim through CVs that claim the “proactive approach”, “innovative thinking” and “commitment” on behalf of their writers? Do not go down the same beaten track: the buzz-words are getting tired, and they will not land you an interview. Instead, show proof — ad tailor it to your future position. Going for a banking position and have experience in programming? Put it on your CV and match your experience to your future role. Show how you can add value to the company through ideas, creativity, new thoughts and concepts. The work place is undergoing evolution and progress, so prove that you are aware of this, and that the youthful nature of your thought-process would benefit the firm.
Be clear. Going for the high-end jobs, you probably have a lot to show off on your CV. However, not everything belongs on it. Choose a clear layout and allow three bullet-points per example of experience. Separate your experience into clear sections, highlighting your education, professional, and extracurricular experience. Make your CV as readable as possible and only include the truly relevant content. However stressful City jobs are, your ability to unwind through intense boxing sessions does not belong on your CV. You are only getting about 3 seconds of attention per CV section, so make those seconds count.
Avoid the error terror. Perhaps the simplest bit of advice, but you would be surprised how overlooked it is. Proofread your CV before sending it in. Many employers complain about the volume of CVs they gain that contain the spelling mistakes. This can be incredibly off-putting to those reading your CV and could signal lack of attention to detail, poor writing skills and hastiness — or all of those.
Sounds simple? It really is. Now re-check your CV and make sure you have committed none of the sins above!