My last job involved helping people move closer to work, part and parcel of this was looking at CVs to check if they were alright for applications. Here’s the thing: if you’re struggling to get interviews then there’s a high chance that something is a little off with your CV.
So, here’s a few little DOs and DON’Ts for those of you in the job seeking market:
DON’T put unnecessary personal details on it. Don’t leave yourself open to discrimination when it comes to age. Think this one through too – if your email address is ‘firstname.lastname@example.org’ then the recruiter is more than likely going to guess that’s your year of birth… Employers shouldn’t discriminate by anything, but don’t leave yourself open to any kind of discrimination.
DO sell yourself. By this I mean, don’t let just your job roles or education do the talking, elaborate on what makes you special. A section for your key skills can help with this too! Vice versa though, try not to exaggerate on what experience you have. You’re only setting yourself up for an awkward situation at some point!
DON’T have more than 2 pages. The average time someone will look at your CV is probably not as long as you’d think. Personally, I tend to struggle with this as I have a lot of experience in different jobs (zero hour contracts – fab for experience, difficult to fit in!). But if you’re struggling, can you group any of the positions together in one?
DO think about the order. Whether or not you put your education before work history might not seem like a big deal, but it can be. If you’re applying for a job similar to your last one, make sure that the recruiter will see that you’ve had relevant experience recently. Put it first. Also, make sure it’s chronological. Latest job first, latest qualification first. Stick to it!
DON’T let that CV be sent with spelling mistakes. The littlest of mistake could be the reason the recruiter puts it straight to one side and forgets about it. Get someone else to proofread it – chances are you’ve worked on it so much that you can’t spot anything easy to see!
DO mention your volunteering (especially if it’s the only thing you have current right now). People have a habit of forgetting about this, but it’s something that can really make you stand out from the crowd. Volunteered in a charity shop for 2 years on a Saturday along with your full/part time job? Put it on there! Let’s put it this way, it shows: commitment, time management, caring, and more. Make sure that the recruiter sees it.
Of course, everyone is unique, every CV needs to be tailored to your own self. But follow these steps to make sure you’re not making any little mistakes that might cost you that all important chance to shine at interview!