Creating a CV can sometimes seem a little daunting, as for most people a CV isn’t something they create or review daily. We have decided to put a few tips together for those considering editing an old or creating a new CV.
Be consistent with your CV layout – One of the first things people tend to do when they consider a new CV is to edit their old one. Whilst this may seem like a good way to save time, the older CV could have been created some time ago. It’s important to make sure whatever you add to the old CV matches in format and writing style. Take off anything that is no longer relevant in your new job search and make sure the new additions don’t make the CV too long. In an ideal world, if you have time, create a new CV altogether. Be careful using standard templates as you want your CV to stand out, not look the same as three other applicants.
Photo – Whilst it may seem like a good idea to add a photo to your CV, I would personally advise against it. You want the recruiter or hiring manager to focus on your skills and experience. Having a photo on your CV can open you to prejudice or take the attention away from what is important. This is down to personal preference as some people/industries may prefer this. If you do decide on having a photo, make sure it’s a professional one, not a Facebook selfie from your last night out.
Be Specific – Whilst creating your CV, make sure you give specific details on projects, industries, achievements or awards. There is no point having a three page CV where the recruiter or hiring manager can’t decipher what you do, how you do it and what you achieved.
KISS – Keep it simple stupid – Studies show that a recruiter or hiring manager will spend on average 6 seconds scanning a CV to decide if the applicant is a good fit for the role. You want to make sure that your CV provides the key information easily and quickly.
Make sure the following information is easy to decipher and the CV is in a logical order; – Your personal information (Name, location and contact details) – Qualifications (Including the year of graduation and place of study) – Core competencies – Current position (Include responsibilities, achievements and dates)
Here are a couple of other things to keep in mind; – Try to keep a CV short, roughly one or two pages long – Use easy to read fonts. Make sure the font is easy to read and isn’t too big or too small – Content is key, focus on responsibilities and achievements that are relevant – Try not to include anything that could be used in a discriminatory way such as age, religion, possibly even some hobbies. Whilst there is nothing wrong with collecting used stamps or Pokemon cards, I would probably leave this off your CV.
Write a cover letter – Sometimes it may feel impossible to keep your resume to a couple of pages long, however, a cover letter is another good way to add more context to your CV without over-complicating the CV. Use the cover letter to explain the relevance of the information in the CV to the job you are applying for.
Final review – You would think this would go without saying, however, it is critical that you make sure the CV is reviewed several times. Considering you have six seconds to grab the recruiter or hiring manager’s attention, you don’t want them focusing on an obvious grammar and spelling mistake. From experience, I would find myself creating/editing resumes late at night as I have work during the day and children to get to bed. This is the time I’m most likely to make mistakes. Take the time to review your CV the following day with fresh eyes. A second or third set of eyes never hurt either. There are also online services like Grammarly that can help with spelling, grammar and even the tone being used.
The application – Here are a couple of things to consider when placing your application; – Make sure you use a generic email address, and not one you made at secondary school. In most cases, firstname.lastname@example.org won’t look great – Make sure your cover letter matches the role you are applying for – Make sure you are qualified for the role you’re applying for, read the advert and/or job description carefully – Make sure any profile photo associated with your email is professional
Here at Tyler Wren, we review resumes daily and come across both good and bad examples all the time. We can provide you with another set of eyes when reviewing and updating your CV.
When applying to a role directly, you may only get one chance as a rejected CV can stay on their file as a red mark and hinder future opportunities with that company. Make sure you take your time and get any application correct the first time.
If you need any assistance or advice when creating your CV, please reach out to us here at Tyler Wren as we are always happy to help.