Looking for a job? Your CV is the crucial first step to finding the right job, course or internship for you. So how do you get your CV from the heap to the shortlist? At CV Medic, we have seen thousands of successful applicants win the job of their dreams with an unforgettable CV and here are our top seven tips to help you craft a memorable CV.
Sometimes organisations ask for odd things on CVs, sometimes they want essays or photos or other oddities, just to help them sort through the heap. Don’t forget that the absolutely necessary information is crucial. Don’t be memorable for the wrong reasons – like the ideal candidate who forgot to put their email and telephone number on a postal application and therefore never got invited for interview because there wasn’t enough time to send them a letter. Always include – complete contact information; education, qualifications and training; career history or work experience; key skills and competencies for the position on offer; achievements and/or hobbies.
2. Be Smart
Your CV is just you in paper or electronic form. So, like you, it should turn up looking smart and confident. Paper CVs should be on good quality white paper, in a good (large) envelope – if possible don’t fold your CV, it inevitably ends up looking creased and grubby. Electronic CVs should be well spaced, in an easy to read font, and clearly and appropriately labelled in the subject line. This is where a CV writer can really help – we just can’t see our own information dispassionately, so the clear eye of somebody who is an expert in presentation can make us more memorable.
3. Make The Most Of You
Especially if you lack much experience, knowing how to use your skills and abilities to become memorable is vital. So, for example, if you trained for a marathon or some other race, point out that this demanded dedication, the ability to devise and stick to a training programme, required unsociable hours and demonstrates how ambitious you are and how you follow through on your commitments. If you have your own YouTube channel, don’t sound like a passive video watcher, talk about the gap in the market you identified (even if it’s very niche like guinea pig grooming or loom band architecture) and how you get your message across, build an audience, support others in your field … all these capacities make you both memorable and valuable.
4. Leave Them Wanting More
Two pages of A4 should be enough. You want to get the information across but leave something for them to find out at interview. Once again, this is the kind of technique that a CV professional can help with, because being concise is an art and finding the line between convincing an employer you’ve got everything they want and leaving yourself something to say at interview might mean you need some expert help in becoming memorable rather than listing overkill information.
5. Be Positive
Language is your friend. Learning to use powerful and positive words such as ‘achieved’, ‘succeeded’, ‘delivered’ and so on will help you describe yourself in the most memorable way possible. Such language also helps you see yourself that way, so you’re more likely to come over as confident at interview.
6. Work Like An Italian Brand
Regardless of whether you’re a Dolce & Gabbana fan or Gucci wearer, a supporter of Diesel or a lover of Fendi, you’ll know that the one thing all great brands have in common is superb tailoring. You need to make sure your CV fits the job description like an Italian suit! This means you need to highlight the parts of you that fit with the vacancy and underplay other parts. At CV Medic we commit to helping our clients understand how to shape their CV so it fits the job description.
7. Be Topical
Review your CV regularly, and make sure you add or update your skills and experience. It’s easy to forget that the marathon you ran was two years ago and that since then you undertook a Tough Mudder or committed to some track training. Updating your CV shows that you haven’t stopped growing, changing and succeeding since your last notable success – that you’re honing your skills and preparing to succeed again.
Sheikh has been involved in the employment and recruitment industry, both in the corporate and third sector for many years now. He is more than experienced and has worked with a variety of prestigious organisations. You can follow him on Twitter for news, updates, advise, hints tips and strong doses of daily inspiration @CV_Medic