An attractive CV can be your gateway to your next big career move, but many job seekers CV’s fall short and fail to get responses from their applications. Writing an interview-winning CV can be difficult if you don’t fully understand what recruiters and hiring managers expect to see. StandOut CV has laid out their 5 essential CV writing rules that all candidates need to follow if they want to land the job interviews they want and progress to offer stage.
1. Give your CV a narrow focus
The most important CV writing rule is to pick out a very specific job type and tailor your CV towards that market only. If you create a very broad CV in an effort to appeal to many different employers then you will likely find that you end up appealing to nobody. Organisations hire employees to carry out specific functions and therefore, suitable candidates will need to possess specific requirements to do so. For this reason, you should target one type of role and make sure that your CV only contains the important skills needed for that role. Cut out any irrelevant information as it will not add any value to your applications.
2. Make an instant impact
With many job posts receiving hundreds of applications from hopeful candidates, it’s crucial that your CV makes an instant impression from the moment it is opened. Many recruiters will skip past your CV if they do not see the skills they need within the first few seconds. So head your CV up with a punchy and persuasive profile that will capture readers attention and show them that your CV is worth reading in full. Tailor the entire CV to reflect the requirements needed for your target roles and include a bullet pointed core skills list to give employers a quick snapshot of your most relevant attributes.
3. Be flawless
In today’s job market it’s not good enough to have an OK looking CV, you need to have an exceptional CV in order to stand out from the crowd and land job interviews. It only takes one mistake for recruiters to start doubting your credibility. Use professional language and formatting throughout your CV to prove that written communication skills are up to scratch and triple check your CV for spelling and grammatical errors. When including your email address, do not use a nickname as it will look hugely unprofessional. If you are unsure about your email, then set up a new address for your job search using just your full name.
4. Prove your value
Employers invest heavily in their staff so they like to see the sort of return they can expect from their staff. Bear this in mind when writing your CV and use achievements, facts and figures to show the value you can bring to an organisation. Whether you’ve generated revenue, saved money or delivered a big project, be sure to detail it in your CV and use numbers to quantify your value.
5. Make reading easy
The easier you make your CV to read, the better recruiters will be able to navigate it and pick out the information they need. So ensure that your CV is extremely easy to read if you want to land job interviews. Start by using a clean simple font and avoid anything too elaborate that may give readers a headache. Break text up into small chunks and use bullet points throughout your roles in order to make the information easy to digest.
Andrew Fennel is an experienced recruiter, founder of CV writing service StandOut CV and author of The Ultimate CV Writing Guide.