If there’s one place where your writing matters most, it’s your CV (or Resume). Before the days of social media and the rise in employers having a sneak peek at how you present yourself online, the traditional CV was the only route into ‘that’ job. Now, it’s 2016 and the job market has changed dramatically. It’s still as important to present yourself in writing professionally but this article looks at presenting the ‘whole package’ to get that job you want.
- Read the Job Description – Let’s start with the basics; it may sound simple but ensuring that you apply for positions that you feel are relevant to your skills and experience is vital. Even if you are applying for a new position as part of a change in career, there is always something you can tell a potential employer to relate your CV to their needs.
- Only Include Relevant Work Experience – One of the worst things you can do on your CV is look like a ‘Jack of All Trades.’ All it tells employers is that you’re not focused, you’re all over the place and you could be unreliable. Transferable skills such as customer service are great but writing that you’ve volunteered at a gym, worked as a social worker, done a spot of babysitting and are currently involved in training for aromatherapy is not going to excite an employer into giving you a job as a PA. However, if you tell them that you organised paperwork at the gym, worked with the public at delivering effective programmes of care and assisted parents in scheduling their work/life balance, it might stand you in better stead.
- Include a Covering Letter – whether the job specification asks for it or not, always include a covering letter (or e-mail) explaining why you’ve applied for the job, what qualifies you to do the job and why you feel that this is the company for you. Don’t write an essay, just briefly summarise your CV and tell them potential employer why you’ve chosen to apply to his/her company.
- Say Why You Want The Job – We’ve covered this a little above and no ones asking you to write a letter begging for the job, including all of your sob stories in a manipulation attempt. It’s not going to work. Working with the points on the job specification, include a summary at the top of your CV to say how you fit the role and why you want to work with this company. Flattery in small doses is not a bad idea i.e. “I feel that my positive attitude would compliment this role in a thriving and developing company like…”
- Don’t Just List Previous Jobs, Explain – Highlight what you’ve done in your previous positions and how it relates to this job you’re applying for. Include dates of when you were in current/previous job roles (month, year), and ensure that you write brief information about what you did, how you did it and how that helped you develop.
- Add Current Contact Details – It’s a bug bare of many employers that when someone sends in their CV, contact details are not up to date and even if your CV has passed the first stage, they can’t contact you on that old number. Again, simple but vital.
- Proof-Read Your CV – You can stare at your own CV a thousand times but never see those little errors that might make a big impact on your employ-ability. Get someone who is good at reading and writing, or a proof-reader (like us), to read your CV and highlight spelling and grammatical errors. One of the worst things you can do is have all the experience necessary but not have the thought to proof-read – it’s a half attempt.
- SOCIAL MEDIA – 10 years ago, this would never have been mentioned. It’s so important. When you send your full name, contact details and information about yourself to potential employers on your CV, it’s not hard for them to find you online. Either make your Facebook profile private or take off all those drunken, weird or downright “I couldn’t be arsed with work today,” posts. We all know someone who has been caught out by their employers for taking a ‘sick day,’ only to rock up at a festival and tag themselves in an album…It’s really bad. It’s just as bad if your profiles make you look unclean, like a political activist of some kind or a downright stoner. Think who can view it and prevent it.
Good Luck! We hope this guide has helped you understand a little more about what makes some of us successful at job interviews and what doesn’t.
We also found this little CV helper from Barclay’s, we think it’s a great tool: https://www.barclayslifeskills.com/i-want-help-applying-for-jobs/school/cv-builder/
Disclaimer: This is by no means a full, inclusive guide of how to write and distribute a CV but is meant simply as a guide for job-seekers to gain extra knowledge and insight into what makes one employer select certain applicants for interview. This article (above) represents an unbiased, informative representation of what employers seem to be looking for. Based on our own knowledge and that of the businesses we work with.
How can we help?
We’ve recently launched a CV review service from £12.99. We can also proof-read and write your CV, enabling you to feel like you’re presenting yourself at your best for those jobs. If you’d like to know more about our CV service, get in touch.