This article, about CV improvement, was written by expert Paul Bradley of BradleyCVs.co.uk. It is well wothwhile reading.
Your CV is Your Sales Pitch
Does your CV make a recruiter want to invite you to that all important job interview?
That’s because, if it doesn‘t, your CV will just hit the bin – hence no interview and no job offer.
Your CV is your sales pitch and you only have one chance to make a favourable impression.
So, what makes a good CV?
One that attracts a recruiter‘s attention in the shortest amount of time and makes them really want to meet you. The average recruiter only spends about 20 to 30 seconds glancing at a CV. This means that you have to grab their attention very quickly indeed.
You should therefore highlight what you have to offer at the start of your CV, rather than hiding your main attractions at the end.
An attention grabbing summary and a list of major achievements at the start of the CV should help stir a recruiter‘s interest in you. It will make them really want to meet you.
The summary should be short and sweet, no more than four or five lines of text. It should highlight your key skills and attributes. This should paint a highly favourable picture of you and indicate your strengths which are relevant to the position you are applying for.
Your summary, however, must be completely truthful. Because if your description doesn‘t live up to your performance at an interview you will brand yourself as a ‘liar‘.
After the summary you should list three to six major achievements that directly relate to the job you are applying for.
It is important to pick achievements that are relevant as this shows that you have understood what the recruiter is looking for.
If possible you should mention facts and figures, although you may feel that these are confidential and you may not want to disclose them.
They do however make the CV more interesting and give the recruiter a better idea of your capabilities.
Your work experience should come next and should describe your responsibilities, skills attained and achievements in each position that you have had.
This should always be in reverse chronological order, starting with your most recent position and working backwards from there.
You should concentrate on your two most recent jobs, unless these are not relevant to the position you are applying for or you were only in these positions for a short time.
Mention budgetary responsibilities, number of staff managed (if applicable) and try and give a good picture of where you fitted into the organisation and what interactions you had with other companies and departments.
Education / Qualifications
Obviously if your education is in the dim and distant past then you should not waste too much space on it, because your work experience will be far more important to the recruiter.
It goes without saying that you must actually have all the qualifications you have claimed for yourself.
IT Skills / Training / Other Skills
You should list your up-to-date IT skills, training and other skills (such as foreign language skills).
For IT skills you may want to include hardware (PCs, Macs), operating systems (Windows XP), applications (Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint), programming languages (C, VB, etc), plus any other relevant IT skills.
This section is optional – you no longer need to include date of birth, marital status or nationality. Only include a driving licence if this is relevant to your job.
Hobbies and interests are generally not considered very important on a CV.
However they may be able to tell a recruiter a lot about your personality, leadership potential and team working skills. So they should not be overlooked completely.
References do not generally needed to be included on a CV unless specifically asked for.
Generally, when you are writing a CV you should keep it to two or three pages. One-page tends to be too short and more than three pages may not be read. If you are emailing your CV you should send it in Microsoft Word format.
You will have to devote a fair amount of time to writing and producing an interview-winning CV.
But, once it is finished you will have a CV that will really make an employer sit up and take notice of you and invite you to that all-important job interview!
Paul Bradley, BSc, Cert. RP, MREC.
Bradley CVs Ltd.
I hope that advice will help you get CV improvement so that you get more interview offers.