Tips for writing your CV

CV tips

Ten Tips for writing your CV

Most people have a CV knocking around but here are 10 really great tips whether you are writing your CV from scratch, improving an existing one or just increase your chances of getting an interview.

 1. Check for spelling mistakes

According to stats every 3rd CV in the UK has spelling mistakes, it will put potential employers off.  Use your spell check and ask someone else to check for typo’s and grammar.

2. Know your value

Not sure  how much your skills are worth?  Try uploading your CV to value my CV, a program that will generate a value based on your CV.  No CV? Try using your LinkedIn profile instead.

3. Use key words

One way to increase your chances of getting an interview is to make sure you are using the key words from the role description and person specification.  Make it easier for the employee to see how you could fit with the business and really perform well.  Remember, it costs a business to bring you in for interview so they will only select the best applicants, these  are the ones who appear most likely to fit the role, so make it easy for them to see that you do.  Some employers and recruiters will use software to review CV’s to decide who to put forward for interview.  What do these systems use to sort the CV’s? You guessed it, key words!

4. Mimic the language of the job advert/role profile

By mimic I don’t mean copy everything word for word, but do try to get the ‘feel’ of the words being used.  For example if you want to demonstrate your training abilities but the role documentation uses the word ‘teaching’ use that word instead.  By doing this you are making it easier for recruiters or employers to see how you fit the role and deserve an interview.  Remember, your CV only has seconds in front of someone before they make up their mind.

5. Don’t use words they hate!

Careerbuilder, in 2013 created a huge list of all of the words or phrases recruiters/employers hate to see. Click the link to see the full list but it includes phrases such as “proven track record, team player and results-driven”.  So when writing your CV try to “think outside the box” with your language, wait, oh oops thinking outside the box is one too!

6. Focus on action words

Make sure your CV focuses on what action you have taken in previous roles, so rather than saying you have experience of managing budgets, say how you managed a budget, how much the budget was etc.  Recruiters and employers want to be able to imagine how your skills will fit into their role so make it easy for them to do this.

7. CV’s for a career change

If you are looking to move outside of your industry or want to highlight the skills you possess rather than the job roles you have had then maybe it is worth considering using a different CV format.  The more traditional performance/chronological CV may not display your talents to their best advantage and a more skills based format may do the trick.  The national career service has a good article explaining the differences, pros and cons.

8. Tailor your CV for every job

Don’t even think about sending out generic CV’s.  It’s a huge bugbear for recruiters and employers and is one of the top three things they notice first.   Regardless of how little information you have about the role spend some time making your CV fit the job role you are applying for.  See points 3&4.

9. Keep LinkedIn updated

Make sure you’ve added key parts of your CV to LinkedIn, keep networking and adding to your endorsements, you never know who will be looking, you may get headhunted!  If you are actively job hunting then consider connecting with recruiters who specialise in either your industry or the type of role you want.  Both recruiters and employers will check all social media once they see your CV so make sure it is suitable for viewing…maybe untag some pictures…..

10. Have a profile section

Make sure you have a small profile section at the top of your CV, think of it as your lift speech, a few concise sentences which really promote your skills.  Take time with this part, it will probably be the first thing people read on your CV and will effect their opinion of you.  Remember how quickly people make up their mind about you, first impressions last.
So now you have these 10 tips, what are you going to tackle first?
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  1. July 2, 2015 / 8:14 pm

    After working in a staffing office for several years, I can’t tell you how refreshing it is to see a resume come through that clearly was tailored for the job it applies to. These are really great tips. My husband is looking for work right now, and we’ll be adding a profile section right away!

    • twinsnowdrop
      July 2, 2015 / 9:41 pm

      Hi Michelle!
      Thank you for taking the time to comment. In a previous life I used to be a recruiting manager and I too have seen my share of generic CV’s! I’m really happy to know the post has helped your husband, I have loads more job hunting related blog posts and resources planned over the next few days/weeks so keep checking back.

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