Is Your CV up to Scratch?

Is your CV up to scratch?

The Curriculum Vitae. It isn’t a one-off piece of paper that you write up, send to a recruiter and then never look at again. It’s an ongoing document, acting as a projection of you and your skills that you should update on a regular basis. It may seem obvious, but it is of upmost importance that your CV is looking as good as it can be. After all, if your CV isn’t up to the job, how does a recruiter know that you are?
So what can you do to make sure you don’t sell yourself short of getting that new role? You can follow our checklist below and don’t fall down these traps to job hunter hell.

  • Forgetting to research your potential new employers

    What do your target employers want? If they require a certain skillset, qualification or experience, make sure you are able to demonstrate that you have those before applying, and make it abundantly clear that you do. The alternative approach would be not doing your research, not knowing the first thing that your target companies are looking for and writing your CV essentially blind.

  • Using clichés and rambling-on

    Keep it relevant and concise. Too much information can result in the recruiter losing your key points that make you ideal for the role. You can help yourself avoid this by bullet pointing your responsibilities, and anything that you think is worth highlighting. If there is something that you think deserves longer than a bullet point, weave it into either an opening or closing paragraph. This will help to give the recruiter some clarity without losing sight of your main achievements.

    Put yourself in the role of a recruiter for a second, and think how many CVs you may have seen that day. Now imagine reading the same buzzwords and phrases in nearly every one of those CVs. It would be incredibly boring wouldn’t it? So avoid using these clichés in your CV and you will have a much better chance of grabbing the recruiter’s attention.

  • Not shouting out about your achievements.

    How did you make a difference? Why did the company need you? What did you do to make sure your role within the business was important? These are all questions you need to answer in your CV. You don’t have to go into “War and Peace” detailing every step of your successful journey- but it does need addressing. And you then need to be able to follow them up in an interview and give more details. Shout about yourself and what you have achieved. Think of your CV as your own billboard advertisement; what can you offer?

  • Leaving off job roles that you would rather not talk about and including things that aren’t quite true.

    We all want our CV to look the pinnacle of what it could be, dotted with the very best of what we can offer our potential new employers. One way we might do this is by stretching the truth to better fit the image we are trying to project. Or, just lie completely. This can include putting down fake jobs and internships at prestigious companies, qualifications you don’t have and working on projects that you have never laid eyes on. However, we live in an age now where it is easier than ever for recruiters to check up on almost everything. A quick LinkedIn or Google search can find out contact names that can shatter your fibs and hopes of getting the job.

    Likewise, if there are gaps in your employment history, that is going to make recruiters suspicious. What were you doing in that time? Why haven’t you included it? Have you been doing nothing? It can begin a chain reaction of thoughts about yourself and your work ethic that you would rather avoid. Even if it is completely innocent, and you thought your “in-between” job wasn’t as relevant so left it off. It is still better to include it, just don’t put as much emphasis on that role if it isn’t applicable to the role you are applying.


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