Your CV has 15-20 seconds to impress an employer. Will your CV make enough of an impression on the employer to hold their interest? Your CV shouldn’t just be an exhaustive list of responsibilities held, it should be a sales pitch. Here are some essential tips to turn your CV into an effective sales document that will help to secure interviews.
First impressions count
What will an employer notice in those crucial 20 seconds? Initially, they’ll notice the appearance, layout and structure of your CV. After they have noted the layout, they’ll start at the top and will focus on the information on the first page. Use font size 10-11 throughout the CV and keep points succinct and bullet pointed rather than writing in paragraphs. This will ensure your relevant experience and achievements stands out. The CV should be no longer than 3 pages.
Your CV is a formal sales document. Your employer wants to know what you can offer them. A profile provides a summary of who you are and what you can offer. The profile should be an elevator pitch that’s 6-7 lines long. Include areas of expertise you have that demonstrate skills required from the job description. Write this neutrally, not in third person, and think about how you can mirror the job description and your experience.
Now that employers and recruiters have an idea of who you are and what you could offer, use the remainder of the CV to evidence your skills and achievements to show how you have added value. Employers are particularly interested in how you’ll bring value to their company. Outline your achievements through bullet points, beginning each with a strong power word, such as ‘achieved’, ‘improved’, ‘established’ or ‘expanded’. Bullet points should contain 1-3 lines of text for each achievement.
Tailor your CV
Review the job description and note the keywords that the employer has used. Mention how you can meet these requirements within your career history. Not only does this show the employer that you’re suited to the role, it also tells them that you’ve paid attention to the job description and have tailored your CV accordingly. Successful CVs are professional, concise and tailored to each role you are applying for. Does your CV tick all these boxes?
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