If you’re starting to look for your next opportunity but are worried about how your CV is going to stand out, then fear not, the 9-2-3 team have summarised some of the best tips to help get you going.
1. KEEP IT SIMPLE! If a CV is hard to read and understand, it puts people off from the start.
2. Proof read thoroughly! CV’s that say you have incredible attention to detail do not fill the Employer with confidence. It sounds obvious but correct spelling, grammar etc are really important and if you are going to format it, make sure it is formatted identically the entire way through the document.
3. Make your CV relevant to the role you are applying for - It’s surprising how many people will send out a generic CV for all positions they apply for. Although it takes longer to tailor your CV to different roles, it could make all the difference when going through the shortlisting process. Don’t leave blanks in your career history.
4. If you’ve taken a career break to raise your family or to go travelling then include that in your CV, and think about any life skills you may have acquired in that time and list these as achievements.
5. Your achievements are important! Telling us about your role is great but expand on this in your achievements by telling us that you tripled your sales budget, for example, this is super duper impressive and will help make your CV stand out.
6. Photo’s - In our opinion it’s not important to include a photo on your CV, the job opportunity should be about your skills and experience, rather than about your age, gender or how you look.
7. A lot of places now scan CV’s for key words etc.... and there are a lot of free tools online to scan your cv which will show you what the key points that recruiters/businesses recognise and is why you can be a great candidate and not get a look in – obviously you should use 9-2-3 for all your needs as we do not use this approach but even so it’s a good way to see what people get from your CV and also helps to stream line the info!
8. I also think having a good considered covering letter can really help to explain why your great for a role and why you want a job – the personal touch makes you different but also shows you have taken the time and effort and really want the role rather than just sending your CV out randomly with no care or thought behind it. Not all roles want this but I think its also a good way to prepare yourself for explaining why you want the role should you get to interview!
The CV headlines we often recommend:
PERSONAL STATEMENT (essentially a few lines about why you'd be good at this job; why you’re returning from a career break; why you’re amazing)
CAREER HISTORY (starting with most recent - the places you've worked, and brief details about what you've done) include career breaks too - no need to apologise for them!
EDUCATION / PROFESSIONAL QUALIFICATIONS (most recent first)
INTERESTS & ACHIEVEMENTS (not everyone has this category - but can be a useful place to show off or put something memorable down. Some people put things like voluntary work; number of marathons run; IT skills; language skills ... Plus they can make good ice breakers in interviews.)
The best CVs tend to be no longer than 2 sides of A4. Keep it simple is a good mantra!
You can always summarise early career history in a few lines (and say more details are available on request).