How good is your CV? Is it really as good as it could be? Have you considered how you compare to your ‘competition’?
How up to date is your CV?
Does it fully reflect what you have to offer your next employer?
These are all questions that job candidates should be asking themselves according to professional CV Writer and marketer Graeme Jordan (www.GraemeJordanCV.com) who is to be a regular contributor to our blog.
CVs are likely to remain a common feature of shortlisting and selection
Of course application forms will be requested by some employers, particularly large and public sector employers. Even if the employer is not using CVs, for example they are using application forms, video CVs or any other method, a succinct run down of your main achievements and what you bring to the table will help enormously in preparing to complete the form or assessment.
Most application forms have one key question at the end (which basically says ‘Tell us why we should choose you’). So being prepared for this will help you a lot.
Keep it up to date to avoid last minute stress
Every CV you send out should be different because every set of job criteria is different. But that should not mean a last minute rush to produce something in the run-up to a deadline. Keep a ‘base CV’ up to date and you will only have to adapt it based on the person specification. This is far better than having to start from scratch when you are under pressure.
Try a different approach
Why not try really making yourself stand out. Throw away the tired old templates. And the new ideas if they don’t help you to stand out for the right reasons. Also throw away any preconceptions about the length of a CV (two pages is fine for most, but three if necessary) or what ought to be on the CV.
Things to miss off include irrelevant personal details, reason for leaving jobs (unless specifically requested), jargon that isn’t relevant (although jargon that is relevant should be kept), pointless clichés and unsubstantiated claims. No one has ever been selected for a job because they said they were a ‘hard working, reliable individual who works well in a team’. So just leave this stuff out. Things to try (if you haven’t already) include: A strong and genuinely unique profile section. Varying the order of the sections to suit you. If you have 30 years experience then this should come before your education. If your most recent jobs are not the most relevant, try a skills based approach. If you are a creative then apply a creative approach. If not, don’t.
Remember it is not a numbers game
If you send out hundreds of CVs and get no response then you are doing something wrong. Job applications are really not a numbers game. If you have a great CV and are a great fit for a particular type of role you will not need to send out lots of CVs. Your general rule should be targeted, well-crafted CVs that fully meet the specification.
This will always beat a volume based approach. Graeme Jordan is a CV writer and interview coach at www.GraemeJordanCV.com
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