Taming the CV ‘Beast’

Let’s be honest – searching for a job can be stressful. We’ve all done it. It usually starts with countless cups of coffee, many lists and ends with more stress and worry, than you began with.

Before you get started, make sure you have the right tools to apply for a job –

‘The average time spent looking at a CV is 5-7 seconds’ (Be-Hiring)

At TheSmartList we take our time. We spend over 5 minutes looking at your CV,  making sure you have the right skills and experience, before we pass them on to our clients.

So, give us something good to read: –

  • Is your CV up-to-date?– If you have had a noteworthy job related event, this should be added to your CV. By doing this, you won’t have to struggle to remember what you did and when you did it when it comes to applying for jobs.
  • Don’t leave any gaps– We are only human,  leaving gaps often leads to employers getting suspicious. If you’ve been out of work – don’t be embarrassed,  be positive about it.  Did you go on a course? Volunteer? Learn a new skill? Don’t hide it, make it a positive and tell us about it.
  • Always tell the truth –You’ve heard the phrase the truth always comes out in the end.’ However tempting it may be, don’t claim to have experience in an area that you don’t. By doing this, you will avoid creating a bad interview situation for yourself. Employers will often check references and your background before offering you a job. Even worse, you could start a job and then lose it for lying.  Stop! It isn’t worth it.
  • Don’t use generic language –Imagine reading the same book over and over again – boring huh?! Remember you are sending your CV to professionals, whose job it is to read CVs and job applications everyday – they’ve seen it all before. Don’t slip into using stock phrases, such as ‘Good at working in a team,’ ‘Fast learner,’ ‘Problem solver,’ the list continues.  Grab peoples attention by using language that backs up your application and achievements.  Be excited about your career. Provide examples rather than statements, for example ‘I lead a team of … people’ sounds so much more interesting than ‘I’m a good team player…’ By preventing the recruiting team asking questions, you provide factual and interesting CV content which is more likely to move you into the next stage of the recruitment process.
  • Make it look good –Stand out from the crowd  add some of your personality to your CV. But, don’t go too far, be sensible!  Make your CV easy on the eye by using bullet points to separate and break paragraphs up. Your CV should also use short and readable sentences – allowing the employer to digest it easily.
  • Contact details –You’ve written an awesome CV but forgotten to check or even attach your contact details. This mistake is more common than you think. Make sure you’ve included the relevant email address or phone number. Why not put these details first, that way, the recruiter will know exactly how to contact you.
  • References –Don’t put names and details of your references on your CV. Simply stating ‘Excellent references on request’ is fine. Employers will ask you for reference details if and when they are ready to offer you a position. You wouldn’t want your current boss to be asked for a reference when they don’t even know you are leaving!  Choose your references carefully and always ask their permission.
  • Check spelling and grammar– Attention to detail is key, show that you care.  If you aren’t sure how to spell it, then use a spell checker or the internet. Check! Check! Check!
  • Attach your CV –One of the biggest mistakes job hunters make today is forgetting to attach their CV to their job applications! You would be surprised by how many people do it. Attach it, before you hit send!

Leave a Reply