If you’re currently looking for work, writing a CV is the first step to take to put yourself out there in front of potential new employers and kickstart your future career. Whatever kind of work you are looking for or the previous experience that you have, a strong CV is essential when it comes to standing out to employers and getting noticed on the applicant pile. Remember, employers and recruiters read hundreds of different CVs every day, so it’s important to make every effort to ensure that yours is special and sticks out for all the right reasons.
Nobody wants to read a CV that’s messy and badly designed, and if your CV is a design eyesore, then it could put potential recruiters off from reading it before they’ve even learned anything about you. The best thing to do is aim for a clean, easy-to-read CV that’s simple and not too busy on the eye. There are plenty of free templates that you can simply write your CV into, or you can use the soon to-be-launched free CV builder tool from Webumo, a revolutionary online platform with a host of handy tools for creating a really professional CV. If you want to stand out, don’t use the same template as everyone else.
Your personal statement should be situated right at the top of your CV and written in such a way that the recruiter wants to read on and learn more about you. Briefly touch on your strengths, experience and skills, and your ambitions when it comes to your career. Talk about what you bring to the table and what would make any employer lucky to have you working for them.
No employer wants to read a 5-page-long CV listing every job you’ve ever had, including the Saturday job you did in high school, so there’s nothing wrong with picking and choosing which jobs you add to the work experience section of your CV. You might want to add your past 3-5 jobs, for example, or leave out any temporary or contract work that you have had and only list full-time positions. If you want to account for any gaps this creates, you can add a note saying that you took on temporary work between X and Y.
Next in line should be either your skills or your educational achievements, whichever is going to be the most impressive. For example, if you didn’t go to university and didn’t get the best grades in school, put your skills first – employers are more likely to forgive poor grades if they can see that you have a wide range of excellent skills that will be an asset in the workplace, such as communication skills and teamwork experience. On the other hand, if you’ve just graduated and don’t have much work experience to write about, play up your university degree.
Recruiters want to see that you are a real person underneath all those skills, past jobs, and qualifications, and the best way to do this is to mention any hobbies and interests that you have at the end of your CV. For example, if you play a team sport, this can be an interesting thing to put on your CV, as it demonstrates to employers that you’re a good team player, too. Some recruiters might be more interested in getting to know more about you if they can relate to the hobbies and interests that you have, so it’s always a good idea to include some of your human side too.
Making your CV stand out on the application pile isn’t always easy. Keep these tips in mind, and hopefully, you will be getting calls from prospective employers soon.