It’s something we all have to do at one time or another, but writing a great CV can be deceptively simple (as well as incredibly stressful)! With so much competition out there, we want our CV to stand out and get that employer on the phone to us by the time they have finished reading. So how can we make our CV stand out from the crowd?
Here are some winning tips for writing a great CV:
Nothing gets the ideas flowing like some good old fashioned brainstorming. Get a flip chart or, even better, nobo boards to plan an approach to your CV. What categories will you include? Is it a formal document, meant to convey your professionalism and relevant work experience? Or is it a way to get yourself noticed, with catchy headings and an unusual format?
Many design companies will respond well to the latter, but for most of us it’s best to stick to a professional format that shows you can get the job done with the minimum of fuss.
Leave Them Wanting More
This can be a tricky one for younger applicants, as they will be trying to include enough information to make up the 1-3 pages. If you are in this situation, don’t be afraid to include all the out of school activities you have taken part in (you can even write a few sentences on each to demonstrate how these helped you grow as a person).
But for everyone else, make sure not to say too much! Your CV should give a brief description of your experiences that can be expanded upon: it gives the interviewer plenty of questions to ask you, and gives you the chance to prepare some great answers! If you do this right, you will be halfway there to acing the interview before you have even arrived at the company offices.
Don’t Fall at the First Hurdle!
This one might seem obvious, but for an employer sifting through tens or even hundreds of similar looking CV’s, any spelling or grammar mistakes are an easy invitation to throw your CV in the wastepaper basket. There are many applications to help you master spelling and grammer.
I know, I know, this sounds harsh. But speak to any employer and you’ll quickly realise it is a reality you should be prepared to face. There’s no excuse nowadays for bad spelling – you have a spellchecker on your computer… use it!
Change It Up
Looking for a job can be frustrating. A lot of people end up taking a shotgun approach, sending the same CV to as many vacancies as possible.
Don’t fall into this trap! Yes, you absolutely should apply for as many as you can – but take your time to prepare each application thoroughly, and make changes to your CV as necessary. You should look at the company website, and make sure that you include the skills they value the most. Emphasise these, and they’ll see you as a person who can provide the skills they need.