Posted on September 2016 By Scott Anstey
What a recruiter or employer wants from your CV is relevance.
They need to know precisely what skills and experience you have, so don’t hold back. Highlight them in each and every role you’re undertaken throughout your career.
Here are our 7 tips to writing a better CV…
1. Be specific
Include start dates and end dates for each role so whoever is evaluating your CV can see exactly how much experience you have (e.g. if you started in Jan 2010 and finished Jan 2011, it’s a big difference to Dec 2010 until Jan 2011!). Conversely, don’t include information that is unnecessary or irrelevant to the role – keep it as punchy and concise as possible.
2. Be relevant
Tailor your CV to the role you are applying for by highlighting the specific skills that particular role will require. Expand on detail but don’t overstep the truth! Make sure you actually did the tasks in your CV – if you were part of a team who worked on the project, highlight the specific tasks you completed. You don’t want to be misleading! You can mention any relevant studies or certifications but don’t attach them – if someone wants to see them, they’ll ask. And always start your work history with your most recent role; it’s far more effective – and relevant!
3. Be impressive
When discussing a particular role, outline your achievements rather than just the job description. Tangible outcomes are always eye catching, particularly if you can say something like; “Successfully delivered a $12 million project 4 weeks ahead of schedule and $1.2 million under budget”!
4. Be smart
Use keywords that relate to your experience (for example SAP) as recruiters will most likely conduct a search through your CV for those relevant keywords. This also applies to your covering letter. Oh, and you don’t need to include a photo… that’s what your LinkedIn profile is for!
5. Be correct
Use a spell check to ensure there are no spelling or grammatical errors. And remember, in Australia we use English spelling – not American – so watch out for stray Z’s where there should be an S.
6. Be available
Clearly state your working rights, along with your contact number and email address. Make it as easy as possible for someone to reach you.
7. Be consistent
Follow this guide to formatting your CV for each role in your career and you will soon build an impressive case.
Client [who you worked for]
Role [the job title]
Dates [start and end dates]
[Generally only a couple of lines are required here to outline the project]
[Bullet point each task – between 8-12 points should suffice – and highlight the skills you employed to achieve each task]
[This is where you impress the reader with timeframes, budgets and successes! You can bullet point 1 or 2 achievements or put them down in a compelling sentence]
Avoid the use of tables, logos and pictures. It confuses the look and can sometimes make your CV look over complicated. From an agency point of view, the simpler the format the better, as they usually have a certain way of presenting your CV to a client in their own standardised style.
Writing a CV is not an easy process. It takes time and effort to get the right information down and tailor it for each role application, but the rewards for getting it right can be substantial. Give your CV the attention it deserves and your next role could be the one you really want!