In order to stand out from the crowd it is important that your CV quickly grabs the reader’s attention at a first glance. Here are 3 simple techniques to help improve your CV.
The structure of your CV can make all the difference. Keep the formatting simple and clean so that your CV looks good and is easy to read. Use bullet points rather than paragraphs and a clear font such as Arial or Calibri with a font size of 10 or 11.
You will need to start your CV with your contact details. This can be done over 5 – 6 lines. Don’t use ½ a page to write out your contact details as it is a waste of valuable space. You need to include your name, address, telephone number and email address and double check that the details are correct.
The Personal Profile is the very first thing that an employer reads so you need to make sure it makes an impact. Remember the employer will probably only have 20-30 seconds to read your whole CV so ideally the profile should be no more than 6-7 lines long. It should give a concise overview of your relevant skills and experience so that it makes the employer want to carry on reading and find out more about you.
You need to write your career history in reverse chronological order with your most recent role first. If your employment history is longer than 10 years, the main focus of your CV should be what you have done in the most recent years. If you have skills and experience that are over 10 years old but you have carried on using them they must be included in your recent roles.
Professional Training and Qualifications
Any Professional training or education undertaken will be featured at the end of your CV. Most employers will also want to know about technical skills and any programmes and packages you have experience of.
Concise and Informative
Your CV has less than 30 seconds to impress a potential employer and in that time they will decide whether you are suitable or not for the role. To improve your CV, keep it to a maximum of 2-3 A4 pages, ensuring you are detailing any expertise or skills particularly relevant to the employer on your first page. Bullet point the details of your responsibilities with a focus on outcomes and achievements. Following a simple sentence structure will help you detail this concisely.
- (F) Feature: The way you did this. Start the sentence with a power word (e.g. consistently, successfully, actively, continually, efficiently)
- Action: What you did. Use a verb (e.g. maximised, minimised, exceeded, re-vitalised, created, launched, coordinated) followed by a few words describing what you did
- (B) Benefit: State the benefit to the company, customer, etc. If you can make the benefit quantifiable this will have much more of an impact and show the employer how you can add value
Tailor your CV
By mirroring language and terminology to demonstrate you meet the requirements of the role, you will be able to sell the required skills back to the employer. A good tip is to print off a copy of your CV and the job description and highlight where you can find the skills/responsibilities they are looking for. If you can’t find the information immediately on the first page, neither will the employer. Lose any detail that is not relevant for the role you are applying for and keep it focussed.
For further help to improve your CV keep an eye on the Renovo blog for more tips and advice!
Renovo is one of the UK’s leading providers of outplacement and career transition support. We work with both organisations and individuals to support all their career transition requirements. If you would like to understand how Renovo can help you please call 0800 612 2011 or email firstname.lastname@example.org