As recruiters, we often get asked about the rules for creating a ‘perfect CV’. A quick search online will bring up hundreds if not thousands of articles on this very subject with advice from ‘experts’ about the rules for creating a perfect CV.
Let me save you some time, in my experience, there are 4 points which come up over and over again and which I outline below.
#1 Keep the purpose of a CV in Mind
Your CV exists to progress you to interview. Think of it as a sales pitch with you as the product. Outline your achievements and skills, convey your drive and determination and highlight your strengths. Use KPI’s, outline key results and achievements and ensure they stand out on the CV in each section. Use positive language, always.
#2 Be aware that an employer will skim read it
So, what will an employer will do with your CV? The reality is most will skim read it. Assuming it’s not in the ‘no’ pile, it will then be read thoroughly. It has to be instantly appealing, relevant and easy to read. Don’t write things that you aren’t prepared to talk about in an interview.
#3 Be aware of what an interviewer will do with the CV
They will try to find out who the person is behind the CV, asking questions about your experience. Take the time to try to pre-empt the questions that will follow on from your listed experience.
#4 Know exactly what the recruiter wants
Know exactly what the recruiter wants to read, ensure it correlates closely with the job spec. Be very specific. Which skills is the employer looking for? How well does your experience match? Who else could apply and how and why do you stand out?
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