The average time spent reading a CV by a recruiter/ HR Manager is just 30 seconds! It is vitally important that you make yours stand out and show the recruiter you both meet the criteria and would be a good fit for the company to secure an interview.
This is our CV checklist:
• Spelling and grammar – Make sure you have used a spell check but don’t depend on it, ensure that all punctuation is correct. Get a trusted friend or family member to proof read for you. Don’t just trust your own opinion!
• Layout – Your CV should be clear and easy to read. As a general rule of thumb, two pages is ideal in length. Make sure there are no long paragraphs and equally no large amounts of white space. Put the most important information on the first page of the CV. This should be your key achievements and your most recent role.
• Structure – Ensure there is a clear structure with clear headings and logical development. Every section should be in reverse chronological order. Career history should come before education. Leave a space between each section for ease of reading.
• Career History – The most important thing to explain with each role is what you achieved. Spend more time talking about your achievements in the role rather than the tasks.
• Skills – It is crucial that you match your skills to the job you are applying for. Give examples of using these skills.
• Personal Details – Your contact details should be clearly at the top of the first page. Include a mobile number and an email address. Make sure your email address is professional and not one that you set up at college!
• References – It is enough to put ‘References available on request’ don’t waste valuable space in your CV listing contact details.
• Interests – Keep this section short. If you have an interest relevant to the job you might want to mention this. Most HR Managers/ recruiters are sick of hearing about ‘reading books’ or ‘walking my dog’. Only put in interests if they are a bit different or add value.
• Novelty and colour – avoid gimmicks and colour, keep it neat and simple.
Finally, whatever you do don’t lie! Take time preparing your CV and tailoring it to every job you apply for. Keep in your head that you have only 30 seconds to make an impression.