Every application you make should be tailored specifically to the job you are applying for. Candidates often use CV’s as a lazy job application – so it doesn’t take much to make your CV stand out.
Here are Temple Recruitment’s top tips:
- Read the job advert or job description and ensure you meet the essential criteria. If you meet the criteria, ensure your CV includes all of the essential criteria. For example if the ad says you must have experience in using Excel Spreadsheets, it is not enough to say you have ‘excellent IT skills’. You must ensure your CV says the words “Excel Spreadsheets”. If you don’t meet the essential criteria you are unlikely to get a response to your application.
- If the companies you have worked for are overseas, include the type of company/industry it is or a link to the company website.
- Do not make your CV a copy of a past job description. Potential employers and recruitment agents do not want to know what your job description says. Often your list of duties will not tell us about projects you have become involved in, mentoring you have carried out to assist new colleagues or what your role is within a wider team.
- Prioritise your duties to ensure the items from the essential criteria are near the top of the job information.
- As well as wanting to know what you actually do, we want to know how well you do it. Think about your achievements in current and past positions and include them on your CV. If you won an award or were employee of the month 5 times include it. If you were top sales person, consistently achieved 120% of target or even if you were asked to contribute to a project because you were an expert in a particular area put that on there too.
- Remember that things in your personal interests and experiences can be beneficial to an application too. For example if you traveled the world for a year and funded it by doing things like picking fruit from 5am to 12 midday for 6 days per week – it isn’t the experience you gained picking fruit that is the selling point.
- It’s the fortitude you’ve shown making your own way, the commitment in getting up each day before dawn, the fact you are prepared for hard work (in this case physically), that you have the courage and communication skills to get jobs in 10 countries in 12 months, and that you experienced those cultures.
- Be upfront and honest. For example if you have gaps in your employment, don’t try to hide them.
- Include a cover letter with your CV that simply regurgitates the criteria you meet that is on the advert or job description. This can be in simple bullet form, or a short paragraph. It should not be another version of your CV – it should just have enough information to make the reader review your CV immediately.