With research showing that many recruiters will only spend 30 seconds reading your CV, the phrase ‘first impressions count’ has never been more true. Competition within the UK job market is extremely high – an effective CV is essential in order to make sure you stand out from the crowd and get those all important invitations to interview.
Lesson 1: Your CV is your sales brochure
Contrary to popular belief, a CV is not a description of everything you have ever done, it is about highlighting to the Recruiter what added value you can bring to their organisation.
Imagine you are looking to invest in a new car, you would want to know what makes that car better than any other car on the market. Not simply than it can get you from A to B, but whether it gives you better value for money, a more comfortable journey, cost savings from improved fuel efficiency etc.
Now imagine that you are a product – why should the Recruiter make an investment in you? Think of your CV as your marketing tool, your opportunity to attract the attention of the Recruiter and identify what makes you better than the competition. Remember that if you don’t use your CV to sell yourself, then you can rest assured that another candidate will, and it’s them that will get the interview!
Lesson 2: Make the most of the space
In the UK the optimum length of a CV is 2 pages – a Recruiter with a hundred or more CVs to read through is most likely to be attracted by the candidates who highlights the key information in as concise a form as possible. Remember, if you can’t sell yourself sufficiently with 2 pages, you are unlikely to be able to do so with 3 or more.
The first page of your CV will be your prime selling space so you need to ensure that content is prioritised and your key selling points are clearly identified within the first 30 seconds. There is no point having your education as the first thing on your CV if it dates back 10 or 20 years! The Recruiter will be far more interested in learning how far you have come since then.
Lesson 3: Achievements, not descriptions
Knowing that you are the best person for the job is not enough – it’s how you market yourself that is going to determine your fate. A simple job description is no longer adequate, your CV must focus on promoting your achievements and highlighting your true worth. The Recruiter will be interested in reading about how successful you have been in your past roles, giving them an idea of the expertise which you can bring to their organisation.
Lesson 4: Quantify
Recruiters know that a large majority of CVs contain lies. Wherever possible back up what you are saying as the Recruiter is unlikely to give you the benefit of the doubt.
Lesson 5: Language
Always write your CV in the third person and make sure that you are highlighting the key points clearly and concisely by using bullet points.
Your CV needs to give a positive impression. Never use negative language on the document, instead use powerful action words and remember that Recruiters may only scan read CVs before making a short-list so key words must be easy to find. Make sure the Recruiter knows that you really believe you are the best person for the job!!
Is your CV underselling you?
With only one chance to make a positive first impression, find out whether your CV is doing you justice and gain valuable help from The Fuller CV Ltd, the leading CV Writing Company in Europe.
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Your CV is never going to get you a job – it’s purpose is to get you through to interview stage. Read our free Job Hunting Guide to ensure that once you’ve got this far you don’t fall at the last hurdle!
For that one-to-one service, we also have a network of Senior HR Consultants who are ready to prepare you, ensuring that you are the one to impress, and that you are the one to be offered the job! Visit our website today to find out more about how we can help you to improve your Interview Technique.