Everyday I come to work, sit at my desk and begin to trail through the job boards, searching CV’s for the perfect candidate for the role I’m currently recruiting for. The average recruiter takes 4 seconds to decide whether your CV is worth taking a closer look at.
Your CV wants to stand out in those 4 seconds.
- Key words. Key words. Key words. If you’re a C# Developer, I should see C# dotted about everywhere. If I see C# written once at the bottom of the page I’m probably going to assume you’re not got enough experience in the language.
- Say you had a job from 2006 – 2010, then started your next position in 2012… from a recruiters perspective we’re going to think it’s a bit fishy if you’ve not said what you did in those 2 years. Even if it was just a career break, tell us what you did, and make it convincing. The same goes if you’ve been unemployed for a while. What are you doing to keep your skill set updated until you secure a new position?
- Outside of work projects. This is especially important if you’re a graduate looking for your first commercial position. If you built a website for a family friend or distant relative, include the link in your CV. If you spent your free time whilst at school taking apart computers and putting them back together, or built a piece of software that links your laptop to your TV, tell us. It may seem irrelevant but it tells us you’re keen.
- CONTACT DETAILS! If I had a pound for every CV I saw that didn’t even include a number or an email address, I’d be a rich woman. I know it sounds tedious to say but I see it so much it doesn’t surprise me anymore. We can’t call you if you don’t give us a number.
- Personal profile. You may think your work experience will be enough information to give, but it’s always a good idea to write a small paragraph at the top of your CV telling us the position you’re looking for and why you’d be the ideal candidate.
- Elaborate! It’s great to tell us you’ve got good communication skills, but where is the evidence to prove that? You can work well in a team? That’s great; give us an example.
- Software Issues. I totally understand, especially if you’re a creative person looking for a design role, that you might have a jazzy CV with boxes and shading and tables and columns. The only problem is that some agency’s CRM Systems may struggle to analyse your CV, and it can be hard to read. It’s best to keep it simple. If you want to show off what you’re capable of (which you should!), give us a link to a portfolio of your work.
– Millie McCormick