How to Build a Strong CV

We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again, your CV is vital! These top tips will help you to create a winning CV that will get you noticed.

Keep it current

Even if you’re not presently looking for a job, it is crucial to keep your CV up to date, as in the world of work it is a representation of you. This is especially important if you post your CV on sites like LinkedIn, as leaving an old CV online shows a lack of drive and enthusiasm. Keep a note of when you last updated your CV, and aim to update it every few months. In work we grow, and our responsibilities change over time, and your CV should evolve with you. Employers want candidates who are on the ball, who are driven, and who are enthusiastic about their job role, so show them you are all these things by regularly updating your CV.

Check it again……and again, and again

Imagine being in the middle of an interview, and being shown a spelling error on your CV….it’s awful isn’t it? In addition, imagine if you were interviewing someone and you noticed a mistake on their CV, what would you think of them? I know I wouldn’t be impressed, and neither would any potential employer. You could be the best interviewee in the world, but if you lack basic grammar and spelling skills, you simply won’t get the job. It is crucial to check, check, and check again when it comes to writing a resume. Ask as many people as possible to read through it and highlight any mistakes they come across to avoid any embarrassing situations.

Tell the truth

It’s a common misconception that everyone lies on their CV. They don’t! And nor should you. No matter what anyone says, a job interview is not the time for dishonesty. Remember that recruiters are not stupid. If you’ve lied on your CV they’ll be the first to know about it, and believe us they will not be happy about it. The rule is: if you can’t substantiate it through references, or if you can’t answer questions about it, don’t add it to your CV. It will save you a whole lot of embarrassment.

Don’t be afraid to be different

One thing many people forget to include on their CV is personality. Everyone has one, and it’s what will make you stand out. Now, obviously there are limits, but if you have a fun hobby, or you’re particularly passionate about something, include it. Remember that employers are not just hiring you to do a job, they’re hiring you to be part of a team, and who wants to work with boring people?! Not us.

Fill the gaps

Big gaps in your employment history do not look good, and will instantly raise suspicion and doubt in an interviewers mind. So make sure you include everything, whether you’ve done volunteer work, odd jobs, or part time work. Even if you’ve been unemployed, try and point out the positives, did you do any courses, write your own blog, or develop any skills along the way? These are all things you should be including on your CV, and can all help you to land the perfect job!

Keep it simple

A CV full of overly flowery language, or one that is pages and pages long is only going to put employers off. Someone who is hiring people is extremely pushed for time, and they don’t want to waste it reading reams and reams of waffle. So, keep it simple, and to the point. Make it easy for an employer to read it, digest it, and decide to invite you for interview. Include keywords, use simple language, and try to keep it to one side of A4 paper. All an employer is going to do is give it a quick glance, that’s all the time you get, so make it attention grabbing, and snappy!

If you would like to learn more, or if you’re currently looking for a new job, why not check out our CV Writing and Interview Skills course, or our Effective CV Writing course.

October 19, 2017

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