Boost Your CV
Tired of getting no responses from employers? Many of us can get complacent sending out the same CV we’ve been using for years. The CV has evolved hugely in the last ten years and what may have have been a decent résumé five years ago may now seem outdated and lackluster. Here are seven ways that you can boost your CV with a makeover and get employers drooling rather than reaching automatically for the trashcan.
Cut out the waffle
Most employers don’t have time to read through ten pages of prose detailing your life story and every achievement all the way up to your 5th place medal in the javelin in 8th grade. Your personal statement should be short and sweet – ideally three sentences. Meanwhile, for your qualification and employment history, focus on short and sharp bullet points focusing on the best bits. If you’ve had a lot of jobs, it may even be beneficial to leave some off your CV – a paper round when you were 14 may not be relevant to a marketing job 10 years later.
In big companies with lots of applicants, CVs may get read by a robot first before ever seeing the eyes of a human being. These robots scan for keywords which tend to be desired skills detailed in the job description. Check that you contain these keywords and beat the recruitment robots.
Emphasise your soft skills
Soft skills such as being ‘organised’, a ‘good team player’ and ‘creative’ can be great for making up for a lack of experience and help to show key qualities that could be good for the role you’re applying to. Just make sure to justify your soft skills with examples of real-world situations you’ve been in ‘I helped improve efficiency in my last job by creating a new filing system, showing that I am organized and intuitive’.
Quantify your achievements
You can further help your cause by quantifying your achievements. Rather than saying, ‘I improved sales in my last job’, say something like ‘I improved sales figures by 20% last year, increasing the company’s overall profit by 100k’.
Now that CVs are digital, it’seasiery to reference what you’re saying in your CV with hyperlinks. This could be a link to testimonials from a client, a project you worked on, an article you wrote or even a news article that you were featured in. Just make sure that these hyperlinks are relevant. Some people will even set up a digital portfolio of work they’ve done to peruse through – useful for writing, design and marketing jobs.
Get a new qualification
If you think your qualifications look a little lean, it’s never too late to go back to school and get more credentials. You can take many courses online nowadays such as a marketing BBA. There are also day-long and week-long workshops for getting smaller qualifications and expanding your knowledge.
Get more experience by volunteering
If a lack of experience is the problem, it could be worth doing some volunteering. Aim for the role you want – most people will be more than happy enough to take you on for free even if it is just a week’s work shadowing. There are sites for volunteer programmes that could be worth looking through.