Getting the right CV
When it comes down to it, your CV could well be one of the most important documents that you ever write. It could get you your dream job or launch your new career.
However, many people just don’t get it right!
During a very successful career in recruitment spanning well over a decade I have seen literally thousands of CVs and have consequently seen CVs that range from the very best to the very worst. I’ve successfully managing my own teams and trained a lot of great recruiters to see good side of the industry and what opportunities it can offer.
Why is it so important?
Simply because it will be the first impression a prospective employer will get of you and could well be the difference between you getting to meet them face to face or not.
Just having good qualifications and experience isn’t always enough. Take marketing for example. A company may be looking to recruit a Marketing Manager with a CIM qualification and 3 years or more practical experience. ‘Great’ you think ‘that is what I’ve got so they will definitely want to interview me’. However, what you don’t realise is they have 15 other applicants that are all CIM qualified and all have similar amounts of experience. They don’t have the time to interview them all so how do they decide?
This is where a well written CV will set you apart from the rest and our CV writing service can help you. You need to not only tell them about your qualifications and experience but really sell yourself. Mention your achievements, not just a catalogue of your experience. A CV is a selling tool and you are the product.
There are many mistakes that people make on their CVs but here are a few of the most common ones:
- Typos/errors/mistakes – don’t ever just rely on a spell check. Always proof read it carefully yourself and best advice is to also get at least one other person to check it for you too. A CV with mistakes in it is likely to put you to the bottom of the pile as it looks as though you don’t care and that your attention to detail is poor. Make sure that your spelling and grammar are spot on.
- Photos – I have seen some terrible photos on CVs but that is not really the point. Why would you want to be judged on your appearance? Whether people intend to do that or not, they will always make a judgement on your picture if there is one on there so never, ever include one unless you are an actor or model etc. and your appearance is part of the job description.
- Lies – Always be honest. If you lie on your CV you will always get found out eventually.
- Gaps – Prospective employers will usually check for gaps in your employment and be suspicious if there is one. If you have a gap, make a note of what you were doing. It could be that you went travelling, had a child or were between jobs. If it is the latter, note down what you were doing i.e. helping out with a friend’s business, doing some training to keep your skills up to date etc.
- Too many clichés – your CV is about you and should be personal. Phrases such as ‘works well in a team’ or ‘socialising with friends’ in the hobbies and interests section should be avoided unless you are also including evidence to back up your claim.
- Contact details – make sure they are correct. There is no point in having the best CV ever if no one can get hold of you. Also consider what email address you use and make sure it sounds professional.
- Don’t waffle – people don’t have time to read pages and pages of a CV and if it waffles on too much, they are likely to just skim it and miss vital information. There has been much said about the ‘2 page rule’ over the years – I don’t believe that this should be set in stone but CVs should be easy to read, easy to see the most important info and shouldn’t go on for longer than necessary. I recently did a CV for a highly experienced techy candidate with loads of experience and due to many years contracting, had lots of jobs to mention. However, I still managed to bring his CV down from 5 pages to 3 pages.
- Hobbies and Interests – don’t overlook this section as it is the chance to show something of your personality. I once had a job interview where the manager said ‘We’ll come onto your experience in a moment but first I want to ask about the hobbies you’ve listed.’ She had spotted something relevant to their industry.
With Spartan Consultants getting the right CV is easy
Don’t be afraid to ask a professional for help. It is better to get your CV professionally written than to miss out on your dream job. Just beware though of some of the companies you’ll find on-line. I re-did a CV a while back for someone that had paid £300 to an on-line company but wasn’t getting any interviews. When I saw his CV it was obvious why. It was very generic. They hadn’t sold him at all and didn’t get any of his personality or achievements across. It turned out that they had just asked him to fill in a form and hadn’t even taken the time to talk to him about his background and what sort of jobs he was applying for.
Spartan Consultants will speak to you at length about your background as well as what jobs you are applying for. We will also take the time to get to know you and what will set you apart from your competition.
Please feel free to contact us for any of your CV writing needs and we will be happy to help.