Your CV could be preventing you from getting a job. All the hard work you’ve put in could be going to waste if you do not tailor your CV is not tailored to the country or job you’re applying to. Let's speak to Marina, a recruiter, to find out what recruiters are looking for in your CV and how to tailor your CV to give yourself the best chance of getting the job!
Tailor your CV for the country and position you're applying to
For instance, European CV's are different to the UK, most European countries like to have a picture on the CV however in the UK & Ireland, having a picture is a big no no. Another example of a bad CV is a one pager. How is anyone supposed to put their life’s work on one page?! For a recruiter to be able to see your potential they need to be able to see a description of what you have been doing, not just your job title. Take a look at some examples of the most awesome CV's to help you develop your ideas to make your own CV standout.
Lastly, if you knew how many people either forget to put their contact details on their CV or indeed do but the information is incorrect...well you’d give up altogether! Here is some advice from our experts at Storani Consulting on how to get your CV in Shape
Crucial things to include on your CV, what are recruiters looking for?
Number 1: Contact Details, Contact Details and MORE Contact Details
You need to include your Phone number (including country dialing code), email, skype address, LinkedIn and your personal website, if you have one. Double check all the information is correct and test the links. No point in posting your CV if no one can contact you
Number 2: Job Titles
A lot of roles will have the word “Administration” in them, which is fine, but this does not help a recruiter understand what you have been doing. Again, if you’re in Sales, just having “sales manager” as a title does not tell the recruiter whether you were in charge of people or just your own accounts. So do some research and find the best title which matches what you did, not what your employment contract says you did. Keep things relevant, if you're applying for a teaching position the recruiter doesn't need to know about the 6 months you spend working in a kitchen, it's vital you tailor your CV for the position you're applying to.
Number 3: Job Descriptions
Most people don't know how to sell themselves on paper and that is understandable (and why you have people like us to help you!) but putting 3 brief lines under your job title won’t help a recruiter decide whether you’re suitable for a role or not. You need to have at least 8 lines, in bullet points to make it clear, with good descriptions and no spelling mistakes!
Number 4: Achievements
It's essential you have at least one achievement for each role. Now it doesn't have to be too over the top and please don’t lie but think about one thing you did well in that role and talk about it. One line of text is fine - keep it short but attention-grabbing.
Number 5: Education and Training
Recruiters need to see if you’re actually qualified to do the job and any additional training you have done, such as seminars, online courses etc. also help as they show the recruiter you are committed to self-improvement. So list your full education with dates and the course provider or university. As we used in the example earlier if you're applying for a job requiring languages such as a translator or a teacher, you MUST include your language skills on your CV! Did you do a relevant training programme like a TEFL certification? include it!
Number 6: Explain any gaps in your CV
Yes, we all have gaps and that’s fine but you MUST explain them. Whether you were traveling, looking after a relative, unable to find a job or just taking time out - tell the recruiter what you were doing on the CV and explain those gaps. Recruiters are nervous about gaps so reassure them!
Number 7: Sell yourself!
Finally, this is your one chance to grab a recruiter's attention to don’t hold back and DON’T talk in the first or third person. Create a summary on your CV which briefly explains your education, experience and type of roles you wish to apply to. Recruiters have, on average less than a minute to scan your CV so make it count!
In conclusion we can see that so many people stop themselves from being considered for a position by making simple mistakes in their application. The good news? It's easily fixed, usually by a 5 minute proofread and a checklist using the 7 things Marina has listed for us here, as long as you do these things and remember to tailor your CV for the country and position you're applying to you can give your application the best chance possible. Having tips from recruiters is like a cheat sheet, they're TELLING YOU WHAT THEY WANT TO SEE! So be smart, give them what they want and you could find yourself in an awesome new job in no time!
About the Author
Marina Morrissey runs her own business helping candidates secure their dream jobs by providing Career Coaching and CV Services and has a team of CV writers working throughout Europe. For more info please visit her website.
So what should you do next?
Don't underestimate the importance of your CV on your application, continue improving your applications and give yourself the best chance of being selected by checking out this article on how to make the best cover letter and grab the recruiters attention and once you've made an awesome cover letter you can see what to expect from the first job interview!
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