Lynda Hennebry gives us her top tricks and tips to help you make your CV stand out to potential employers.
We’ve all sat those career classes back in secondary school where the teacher spends 45 minutes hounding us about making your CV stand out.
Of course at fifteen or sixteen we’re really not interested in making sure every date is accurate and we continuously question why babysitting isn't seen as a skill?
It’s not until we get older that we realise how important having a good CV is and how much a piece of paper can stand between you and your dream job.
Having just the right amount of detail is essential on a CV, so we've put together the top ten tips to help you make your Curriculum Vitae stand out.
It’s the one thing I remember from third year careers and that is if you send a CV, you send a cover letter. It’s like bread and butter, Tom and Jerry, one comes with the other and don’t forget it.
The cover letter is where you can really highlight your key points that you want the employer to pick up on.
Update and clean up regularly
I can’t stress how important this is. An employer doesn’t have time to wonder why it’s 2015 and you haven’t achieved anything since March 2012, even though you’ve just spoke about your new degree in April 2013 - keep it updated.
Equally if you’re going for a job in teaching, do you really need that week's work experience that you have in the local butchers in transition year? Didn't think so.
Keep it short and sweet
I know, we’re all fantastic and could write a novel about how fantastic we are, but trust me, employers really don’t care.
They want to look through CV's as quick as possible so you shouldn’t have any more than two pages. If you do, you need to do some editing.
Make it easy to read
Okay, so you have took my advice and you have edited it down, but making the writing so tiny so that they can’t read it doesn't help your case.
No employer will spend time looking for a magnifying glass to try read your tiny writing. Make sure to keep it easy to read.
Font size 12 usually works best and don’t be afraid of a bit of colour here and there.
Include a ‘personal profile’ or as I call it my ‘career objectives’ at the top of your CV
Emphasis yourself in a quick sentence, state your desired career path and what career path you’re looking for. Keep away from the cliché words, but allow an employer to realise what you’re all about.
Keep the important stuff to the top
It may seem like common sense, but you’d be surprised. Keeping in mind an employer usually gives 15-20 seconds per CV, so make sure they see what you want them to see straight away.
Don’t be boring
I know CV’s aren’t exactly a wonderful colouring book full of bright colours and happiness, but they don’t have to be boring.
You don’t just want pages of bullet points saying ‘I did this’ ‘I’ve achieved this’ - give it a heading at least.
What’s wrong with a tine tiny white lie? Everything actually. Trust me, nothing good ever comes of a , so please don’t say you traveled the world learning Japanese for the year of 2012, when really you were working in a call centre.
Trust me, you’ll wish you listened to me when they ask you to read a poem in Japanese.
Spell check everything
As an aspiring journalist this is obviously something I feel very passionate about, but please spell check everything.
Spell check it on the computer, again in your head and then pass it to someone else to triple check. If it comes down to two people and one CV has perfect spelling and the other is littered with spelling mistakes, who do you think has the job?
Tailor your CV to the job
Finally, it’s always a good idea to tailor a CV to the jobs you’re applying too.
Update your career objectives to the job you’re going for. For example if you’re applying to a radio station it may not be the brightest idea for your career objective to be ‘to work with children’, always pretend you’re applying for your dream job.
And there you have it, your top ten tips to help you get the perfect CV.
Happy job hunting.