1. Keep to the Point
Usually a CV should be no more than two pages – and that's two pages of A4 paper! Employers spend, on average, just 8 seconds looking at any one CV, and a sure-fire way of landing yourself on the no pile is to send them your entire life story. Keep it punchy, to the point, and save those niggly little details for the interview.
2. Tailor it
We've all done it. Whizzed the same CV out to lots of employers to save time…stop! Take the time to alter your CV slightly for each role that you apply for if needs be. Think about it. Research the company and use the job advert to work out EXACTLY what skills you should point out to them. They will see and appreciate the obvious effort especially as with Apply Direct the decision maker is viewing the CV straight away!
3. Include a Cover Letter
Don’t just assume an employer will see how your experience relates to their job. Instead, use a short personal statement within your cover letter to explain why you are the best person for the job. Input here your strengths as to why and how you could be a valuable asset to the company and specifically in this role. Also show how you have researched the company and the Job which you are applying for.
4. Career History
Emphasise the most impressive aspect of your career to date by balancing the requirement to cover all the essential information with the need to keep it brief. Always have your most recent position as the first role the employer reads, this makes a better initial impact than the Paper Round you did when you were 14!
5. Skills Learnt.
Think carefully about your skills and how they can transfer to the role.
6. Keep it current
You should keep your CV up-to-date whether you’re looking for a job or not. Every time something significant occurs in your career, record it so you don't later forget something that could be important.
7. No Mistakes
Employers DO look for mistakes on CVs and if they find them, it makes you look really bad. David Hipkin, head of recruitment and resourcing at Reed Business Information, warns, 'With most employers experiencing massive volumes of applicants right now, giving them the excuse to dismiss your application because of avoidable errors is not going to help you secure an interview.' If you're unsure then use a spellchecker and ask someone else to double-check what you've written.
8. Be Honest.
Everyone lies on their CV, right? NO! Stop! Blatant lies on your CV can land you in a whole heap of trouble when it comes to employers checking your background and references. The last thing you want is to start work and then lose your new job for lying. You also may get caught out at the interview stage when you suddenly can't answer questions on what you claim to know. And that can be VERY awkward!
9. Stand Out.
We live in a world where image is everything, and that also goes for your CV. Take some time to pretty it up... Use bullet points and keep sentences short. Use the graphic design trick of leaving plenty of white space around text and between categories to make the layout easy on the eye.