Talented recruitment consultants can transform your CV, career aspirations, and current success levels in a matter of minutes. Plus, creating a high-performing CV is an art in itself.
This practical guide will make sure you know all the required elements and is a useful reference whenever you’re searching for a new job.
The most common mistake in job applications is a lack of tailoring. We all have experience of sending out more than one application, but you must adapt your CV to every position you apply for.
Before you start thinking about your CV, you should study the job application carefully. Although some adverts can sound similar, the skill is noticing the differences, nuances, and unique requirements that each employer mentions.
Hiring managers and consultants normally take a maximum of seven seconds to scan a CV. So, it’s vital that it’s clear, legible, and uses industry-standard formatting:
Here’s a checklist of what to include:
You should mention details that are relevant to the role you’re applying for. Each role description should use an action-benefit statement:
Action: The action(s) that you took in this role, that allowed you to face specific challenges.
Benefit: What were the benefits to the organisation? Outcomes such as increasing revenue, creating new processes, and or improving systems are excellent examples.
Here’s an example action-benefit statement: Implemented new training strategies that supported a 26% increase in sales.
Pro tip: Use powerful verbs at the beginning of the statement, such as: implemented, created, managed, supervised, directed. Plus, try to quantify wherever possible (I.e. use numbers, percentages, ROI, etc.)
Around 98% of organisations use applicant tracking software (ATS), which automatically scans CVs to find appropriate matches. This can result in up to 75% of CVs being rejected, but with the right job-specific elements you can improve your chances of success.
Always begin with the technical skills required to do the job. These skills are quantifiable and are normally learnt through formal courses.
Here are some popular hard skills across different professions:
Next, your soft skills show how you implement the hard skills you have. These can be harder to teach, and can be more subjective, but here’s a list of the most popular soft skills that hiring managers look for:
Pro tip: Combine an action-benefit statement with your hard and soft skills when you speak with a new potential employer or recruiter: I implemented a new reporting process using excel that boosted the department’s performance by 20%. This helped with time management, so the team could adapt to new challenges.
You can also change the order of each section depending on the type of role, but the above is a basic guideline.
Use the checklists below to make sure your CV has all the required key elements and avoids common mistakes.
There’s a lot to consider when creating an a-star CV and the key is to reach out and get the best advice. Use the best practices in this CV guide whenever you’re working on applications. Many of the tips can be used in interview settings as well as your initial applications.
If you have any questions regarding your CV – or any area of your job applications – reach out to our team today, so we can find out what your goals are, and help you on your career path.