Do you want to know how to write an attention-grabbing, awesome, amazing, great, winning CV?
I know, I know! You have probably read or seen so many of these blogs appear on your timeline, but the CV is the first and undoubtedly the most important step into finding your dream job. The most challenging thing to achieve is making your CV stand out.
The key is to tailor it to each specific job. You may have the right skills and experience, but how do you portray that on a piece of paper?
Before you begin, there are 10 main points that need to be included on your CV:
- Full Name
- Current Job Title or ‘Graduate’/‘Student’
- LinkedIn Account – in our digital age employers will look you up on LinkedIn. If you don’t have one, get one!
- Contact phone number – be sure to have your voicemail active just in case you can’t answer
- Email address – this needs to be professional and not your old Hotmail account that you set up when you were 15 years old like ‘email@example.com’
- Personal Statement / objective – make it relevant to your new role
- Employment History/Work Experience
- Skills – computer skills or specific software that is related to your job
If you have added extras such as languages or awards then this is definitely a bonus! Employers also like to see interests and experience, try to make it relevant to the job in which you are applying for and avoid writing the standard ‘socialising with friends’. BORING!
As we said before, your CV needs to be tailored to the industry / job you are applying for. Read through the job description with a fine tooth comb and highlight key words and phrases to familiarise yourself with each requirement and personal attribute. Against each one, jot down how your personal experience matches each criteria that has been requested, ensuring that there is no stone unturned when applying for the job. This will also provide key information for your personal statement along with your cover letter. By doing this, it will also help you to realise if this is the job you want or could do successfully. If you find that you’re going through each bullet point struggling to think of relevant experience or unsure of how you would do something, then this may not be the job for you.
Don’t get carried away with writing too much detail on your CV. We recommend that you keep it to 2 pages. Keep your experience to bullet points that include only the key qualities outlined in the job description as well as the experience that is relevant to the job in question. Including your part- time bartending days back at University may not be appropriate for a marketing executive role.
If you are looking to apply for a marketing role then this is your chance to be creative! Marketing and digital agencies love to see what a candidate can do and what better opportunity than on your CV, especially if the role requires graphic design. One story that sticks in mind was the inventive person who made their CV as a passport and left it in digital agencies in London – the most competitive market to get into. Employees then picked up the passport to return it to the owner to discover it was a CV; a genius idea that landed the candidate 8 interviews from that one stunt.
Note: this is only relative for creative industries, but formal doesn’t have to mean boring. Use something other than Times New Roman for your title. Experiment with creative layouts that still convey the same information, but in a more attractive way.
Once you have written your CV then the next step is to proofread. We cannot emphasise this enough. Get your parents to read it, your friends, your dog- anyone! Another pair of eyes will be able to spot a mistake that you didn’t. Bad grammar and spelling errors will instantly put people off. It’s not only employers you need to attract, but recruitment agencies too.
Don’t stick to the first CV you write. Experiment with fonts and layouts. Search for CV templates and find one that represents you as an individual as well as being suitable for your chosen career.
RedBox Recruitment view hundreds of CVs weekly and have witnessed first-hand how a CV can ruin your chances in getting the dream job. Get in touch with us today and we will help you on your quest.