If you’ve been been looking for work for a while, chances are you’ve sent your CV off to hundreds of companies per week and never heard a single thing back.
Maybe your CV needs a tidy up and an update. It’s the paper equivalent of a first impression - and you will obviously want to make a strong one. It’s a competitive market out there – so use your CV to get ahead.
Whilst many stick to a standard format, there’s no harm in being a little creative, so long as you keep a high standard of professionalism and maturity (e.g. no ridiculous, hard to read fonts and Clip Art everywhere).
Here is how to start getting your CV noticed in eight simple steps:
Include your contact details
It sounds incredibly basic, but have you actually included them on your CV? Maybe that’s why no one has got in touch with you – they can’t! Contact details should be your email address, home address, a mobile and a landline. But before you include your email address, consider how professional it looks. An employer coming across email@example.com is likely to be unimpressed.
Specific employment information
You should include where you worked, what your job title was and how long you were there for, with the most recent post at the top of the list. Make sure this is up to date. You don’t have to list every small or part-time job you have had unless the experience or skills you used there is relevant to the job you are applying for.
Gaps in employment
There is no law against taking a gap year, being unemployed, caring for an ill relative or child rearing. However, if there is a gap in your employment history you will need to acknowledge this by listing why you were not working. No one will hold it against you. It also saves a prospective boss asking you at the interview stage.
Think about the skills and tasks you undertake on a daily basis (if you are currently in work). These should definitely be listed on your CV if they match your potential employers job advert. You also need to think about your job title. So, your company might refer to you as a Happiness Guru, but does everyone else just call that HR? You need to think about how recruiters or employers might come across your CV on a job board – don’t have them discount it because you haven’t marketed yourself clearly.
It’s not a story. Be brief and business-like when listing duties, skills and experience. Information should be clear and concise. Let the employer see what transferable skills you have by listing them in easy-to-digest bullet points. You can also highlight key achievements in this way.
Consigning your CV to two pages of A4 is a bit of a myth. It can be as long as it needs to be. Having said that, you’re not writing a novel and we did just warn you not to waffle. But if you need to include a few extra lines or paragraphs beyond the two-page mark, it’s not the worst thing in the world. A recruiter can always advise you on any information trimming that needs to be done.
The majority of our clients require CVs to be submitted in a certain layout or format, so send your CV in a word format, please. You can use Microsoft Office, Open Office or Google Docs. This allows a recruiter to edit it to match clients’ requirements.
Grammar and Spell Check
A poor grasp of language can really put an employer off. Use the spell check facility within your word document, double check it and rope in friends and family to see if they can spot any glaring errors.
If you are looking to find new opportunities as an engineer, I’d love to help.
Click here to get in touch with me
and take the next step in your career.