Take it from someone who looks a lot of CVs, I know what I’m looking for – so I can give you some inside ideas of what you need to do to be best prepared. As employers get a lot of CVs it’s really important that you make an impression and make it fast. Whilst this might sound daunting – it’s not! It’s really simple once you know how and that’s exactly what I’m going to show you. So, for the top resume tips you need to know scroll down now:
Make an impression
And I mean, make a good one.
Start strong, with an introductory email if you’re required to write one, or a cover letter that actually addresses the company. Don’t stop there, list things you’ve noticed about the company and reasons you were attracted to the job.
It’s always refreshing to receive a CV that seems as if it was tailored to you. If you’ve followed the company, can name the values they pride themselves on and are excited by the things they do – tell them.
You don’t have to be an employable robot, talk to the person on the other side of the screen. Address them by name if you can, if you can’t stick with a simple “To whom it may concern.”
Once you’ve hooked them, reel them in
You’ll get a second glance by personalizing your CV.
Talking about the company culture, industry trends and why you are applying in the cover letter or email is a great way to ensure you stand out from the pile of CVs an employer sifts through every day. But it’s not enough. You need to remember that you’re selling yourself to them.
How can’t you make a change at their company and why do they need you? It’s not because you’re a team player, it has to be more specific than that. Although your previous experience builds up a great picture of who you are. Don’t place your bets on your university degree. Some clever wording alongside each accomplishment should give your potential employer the feeling that you are a very valuable asset to them.
Don’t be afraid to use sentences like “I worked at X for two years where I proved myself to be a valuable member of the team and was praised for my ability to organize, delegate and raring structure to the company.” When you compare it to a sentence that briefly describes when you worked there and what you did, it’s far superior and will continue to sell you.
Be easy on the eye
Recently, the way in which CVs are presented has changed. When employees get hundreds (and they do) they’re looking for something short that catches their eye.
Try new things and download some CV templates, you can find a list of the best ones to showcase yourself here. Whether you choose to upload a photo with your CV is entirely up to you, it’s a fairly new thing, and it’s not something that I personally look for.
I prefer to see your experience in writing, but I don’t look twice at a badly formatted CV. You can make your CV look attractive without being girly or creative, all you need to do is spend a couple of minutes inputting information into a professional template designed by someone else. If you’ve sold yourself right and laid it all out right, you’re already on to a winner.
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve turned down a CV because of typos and incorrect grammar and spelling. If you’re going after a job, you want them to see that you really want this. You need to present yourself as highly motivated with a great attention to detail. Mistakes make it seem like you don’t want the job, even worse, that you don’t care enough to proof the CV.
Usually, it’s just easy mistakes, and you can either run them through a spell checker like Grammarly or get someone (an unofficial editor like your mum or best friend) to look over it with a critical eye. This one seems like a no-brainer but don’t forget it. Your CV is kind of like a paper representation of you, that’s how we read it anyway.
The things you choose to highlight, what you give it to us with and how you present it says a lot about the kind of employee you will be.
Identify the problem and make yourself a solution
Whilst your CV is important and must be strong, your cover letter needs to be even stronger. It’s your chance to pitch yourself.
It’s where you can make a connection between a company and yourself straight away, so they’re really important! As I said, it’s a great opportunity to sell yourself to the employer without selling yourself.
It’s about them. Not you. It sounds so strange to say, but employers will look for the skills and experiences you can lend to them. They’ll be impressed if you have knowledge of the industry, and even more impressed if you sell your skills, rather than sell yourself. Forget weak and buzzwords like ‘team player’, ‘perfectionist’ and ‘highly motivated.’
We see these words so often they don’t mean anything anymore. Give examples of skills you’ve learned or projects you are proud of.
“While at X I was given the task of developing a newsletter, I increased subscribers by 60% and learned how to design newsletter templates. I have noticed you have a newsletter that you send out every Tuesday and am keen to learn more about your design process”. Is an example of how you might sell yourself without selling yourself.
It might help to take a piece of paper and go through the job listing, identify keywords that they include and then evaluate the company and the areas you’d be working on. What can they improve and how can you improve it? You need to tell them this, without telling them this explicitly. If you follow these five steps, it’ll definitely be easier to get a call back for an interview – where you can seal the deal.
Our pick of CV Templates:
What’s the strongest skill you have on your CV?
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