1. Put yourself in the recruiter’s shoes.
What will the employer be most interested to know? What will ‘wow’ them? It’s a good idea to put the most important information at the top so that they’re reading the most relevant and recent points first.
As a guide, the order should be as follows: Name / Contact details / Personal profile / Key skills and achievements / Employment history (most recent first) / Education and qualifications (most recent first).
2. Show, don’t tell.
Be specific instead of making vague statements about job responsibilities. For example, rather than just stating ‘resolved customer queries’, explain what you did and why it was so successful. Back up your points with statistics, too. Consider saying that you ‘maintained an X% customer satisfaction rate by doing xyz’, for example. It’s also good to mention that you’ve been promoted, instead of just stating that you had two or three roles in the same company, for example. Show, highlight and demonstrate your strengths.
3. Use buzz words.
When explaining job roles and responsibilities, use buzz words. Some key examples include: enthusiastic (shows that you have a positive attitude); responsible (shows that you take ownership); and negotiation (a transferrable skill). Using this key vocabulary could even improve your chances of an interview offer because, if you’ve uploaded your CV to a job website, keywords are very often used by an automated search engine to pick out your CV from the database. Have a search online and incorporate the words most commonly used when you input your job title.
4. Adapt it if you’re applying for temporary jobs.
Your CV needs to be concise and relevant, and this is even more important for temporary jobs, as you should clearly and concisely demonstrate the skills and abilities that the temporary role demands. Limit your CV to two pages and don’t include anything that isn’t relevant for the temporary role. There can also be a temptation to include as much as you can on a CV for temporary roles, and if you’ve been temping for a while, you probably have lots of jobs to include. However, try to avoid listing everything in your CV. If it’s too long, the important points could be missed.
5. Check, check and check again.
Once you’re satisfied that your CV is selling you and your skills effectively, ask someone else to read through it to give you some honest feedback. You may be in a rush to send off your CV and job application, but stop to check the clarity to ensure your experience and achievements are clearly demonstrated. Also, ensure that the grammar, spelling and punctuation on your CV is accurate. There’s nothing worse than using the wrong ‘your’ and ‘you’re’ or ‘complement’ and ‘compliment’.