STEPS TO A SUCCESSFUL CV
At Connect Appointments the initial information we get about you is from your CV. Use our top CV tips to ensure that you impress your consultant first, then the employer.
ACE THE COVER LETTER
Cover letters are incredibly effective. Your cover letter should be a direct reply to the job advert – study the job advert and look for buzzwords they use. This is your chance to explain what relevant skills, qualifications and experience make you perfect for the job. A cover letter is different to the personal statement at the top of your CV which should be used to summarise who you are, what you do and your career objectives.
KEEP IT CONCISE
Use your editing skills to ensure your CV only includes the relevant information. Try to keep your CV to two A4 pages at most, and make use of bullet points.
POWER OF THE PERSONAL STATEMENT
There’s no denying that your cover letter is crucial, but keep in mind that recruiters may lose track of your letter and focus entirely on your CV. For this reason, a small blurb – or personal statement – at the top of your CV detailing your career objectives and what you’re looking for in your next career venture allows you to reintroduce yourself to a recruiter. It’s a fantastic method of summarising your entire CV into a couple of sentences, and gives you the opportunity to really sell yourself. Make sure to tailor your personal statement for each job role you apply for, this shows attention to detail without taking up valuable word count.
HIGHLIGHT YOUR SKILLS
Regardless if you’re proud of your grades from school or you wish you had done better, it’s important to include each qualification on your CV. It lets a recruiter get to understand your base knowledge of a subject and see how you’ve taken it forward into your working life and progressed on those skills. However, if there is a particular grade you would rather not shout about you could list the topics you studied and highlight the ones where you achieved good grades.
When you progress further in your career, and have a wealth of experience and roles to reference back to, the onus on your grades from secondary school or college aren’t as integral. Briefly mention them, but give more focus to the skills and experience you’ve gained through various jobs and work placements you’ve held.
KEEP IT STRUCTURED
Every employer studies a CV differently. Even so, each CV should be chronological and showcase your skills and personal attributes. Always include your name and contact details at the top followed by your personal statement (check out our
example CV for reference). Then go onto include your work experience and qualifications. When it comes to work positions, only include roles you think are relevant for the industry you are apply for. The education section should include all your qualifications from school, degree or apprenticeship, to industry qualifications.
REFLECTION IS KEY
Always include roles that are pertinent to your chosen career to highlight your former experience. But, make sure to go beyond the job role – many positions will have similar responsibilities. What did those roles teach you? Reflect on what you’ve learned, any awards or qualifications you achieved and how you went above and beyond the call of duty to excel in the workforce. From being nominated as employee of the month, training new team members, or even holding a clean, full drivers’ licence will instantly appeal to our recruitment consultants and any potential employers.
IN THE PICTURE
Fun fact: recruiters spend on average just six seconds looking at a CV. Grabbing their attention is vital, and images are a great way to do just that. Use the logos of your past employers to make your CV more visual. In a glance a recruitment consultant will recognise what companies you’ve worked for. Bear in mind this works far better if you’ve had a role with an instantly recognisable brand – a grainy photo of a small business logo won’t make the cut.
CHECK IT TWICE
Mistakes happen, but try to avoid errors on your CV. The best way to do this is to check it over for any spelling or grammatical errors, or ask someone you trust to proof read it for you. A typo could land your CV at the bottom of the pile, even if you have all the relevant skills – so get checking.