Your CV is your chance to impress a recruiter by demonstrating how your skills and experience fit with what they are looking for. Recruiters might receive hundreds of CVs each day, so may only look at each one for a few seconds. Improve your chance of being selected by matching your CV specifically to each point listed in the job description. This means you will have a different CV for each role you’re applying for. For further tips, follow the advice below:
Get it right
- Read the job description/person specification. What specific skills and experience are they looking for (e.g. dealing with customers, working to tight deadlines)?
- Demonstrate that you possess each of the job requirements by providing examples of when you have used the skills successfully in the past. Your examples can be from a range of areas, e.g. your work experience, course, extra-curricular activities and achievements.
- Choose appropriate examples and explain them in a way that is relevant to the employer i.e. shows you have the ability to do the job. For example, contributing to a group presentation as part of your coursework demonstrates your teamwork skills. Leadership skills, such as delegating tasks and motivating others, could be gained by being part of a sports team or taking the lead in a project group.
- Demonstrate your personal achievements by using action words such as ‘analysed’, ‘improved’ and ‘planned’. These will help you to convey your achievement and ability, rather than passive terms such as ‘I was involved in’ or ‘I had to’. Avoid using ‘we’ as the recruiter is interested in what you contributed or achieved as an individual.
- Keep your CV concise and include clear sections with headings (e.g. education, work experience). A consistent layout and use of fonts will make it look professional and easy to read. Keep it to a maximum of two pages in length.
- Make sure you thoroughly check your spelling and grammar, as this could lead to your CV being immediately discounted. It’s a good idea to ask someone else to check over it too!