Creating an Effective CV
In this changing world and during these unprecedented times, it is more important than ever to have a strong CV, highlighting your skills and experience to maximum effect. So Clover HR have put together a few ideas as to how to create an effective CV.
Online or Attached?
Recruiters look at CVs in a number of different ways through various portals, but they are all looking for the same thing, which is a clear, a truthful and intelligent account of your career to date, and your hopes for the future.
Online application forms are still asking for your CV, but in a particular format. Having a prepared CV in your toolkit, not only saves you time when applying for roles, it also gives you the chance to look at what the role requires and respond accordingly.
Format and Layout
Clarity is essential. The recruiter will be looking at many CVs and they want the essential information easily available. Unless you are applying for a role in design, do not try to impress with the originality of how your CV looks. Recruiters don’t want to be looking for key information in coloured bands in the margins.
“you only have on average 7 seconds to grab a recruiter’s attention with your CV”
James Reed – Chairman of the Reed recruitment company
Make your CV as easy as possible to read:
- Bullet point critical information such as responsibilities and achievements;
- Try to keep to 2 pages. If there is a good reason for going over, use the extra space; don’t just have 3 lines on page 3;
- Don’t make your font so small people will get eyestrain, or parsing machines just won’t read your document, and you will never get to the next stage. Similarly, for margins, increasing them slightly is fine, but don’t drag them right to the edge;
- Check, check and check again – no spelling mistakes and no grammatical errors.
Keywords and Algorithms
Keywords are not a magic formula, they are a way of describing your experience that can be relevant to a specific role, or more generally describe competencies and behaviours that are expected within a business environment. It is good practice to look at the requirements of a specific role and reflect, not mirror, these in your profile. Demonstrate how you have achieved these in the body of the CV. This is generally what the algorithms are seeking out; that you can do what you say you can do.
Look for balance; in most cases your current role best reflects what you are looking for in your next role and how you can add value to a new employer. So focus the recruiter’s attention here, give them the context of your role and what you have achieved. Don’t bolt your most recent role on as an afterthought with all the focus on your early jobs.
Don’t just list achievements; demonstrate them wherever possible with awards, metrics, positive feedback.
When developing the content think about your strengths, your interests and your aims. This is where you can stand out.
Think positive; roles are being advertised because employers want to fill them. You will be doing them a favour by being the right person!
Take one last look at your CV before posting it – would you want to hire this person?
If you would like further guidance or support on this matter, please contact Clover HR on 0121 516 0299 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
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