There are countless CV templates in circulation that can assist with structure, however, you may run the risk of missing out if you don’t tailor it to suit the job you’re applying for — but also don’t fiddle with it too much. Here’s some advice on how you strike a healthy balance.
Next to being forced to clean out and organise that dodgy storage cupboard at your parents’ house, applying for a job can be the most depleting exercise. There are only so many cover letters you can write before you start accidentally typing “because I need money” in the place where you would explain why you are the perfect candidate for the job. It also doesn’t help that the economy is currently suffering due to Covid-19 and will be for the foreseeable future, meaning hiring opportunities are limited. If you want to maximise your chances of getting a job and getting one quickly, then you’re going to need to send your CV to the gym, and step one of the CAREERS MAGAZINE CV fitness programme is cutting out common mistakes like:
Your CV should not be like a pick-up line, i.e., applicable to anyone within earshot. According to recruitment firm Robert Walters, most employers that receive generic CVs will pay them the same amount of attention as the person on the business end of the question, “did it hurt when you fell from heaven?” Tailor your resumé to the place you are applying to. Explain why your specific set of skills are appropriate for that particular role. In fact, a useful idea may be to have the job description next to you as you tweak your CV.
Standing out is a beautiful thing but sometimes in the course of trying to differentiate ourselves from the crowd, we can come across as trying too hard. It’s probably a mistake we have all made but when formatting your CV, it is best to keep it simple. According to Prospects, a British-based organisation that helps students transition into the job market, no one wants to see your quirky fonts, odd colours and professional headshots. Whatever design ethos you go with, err on the side of caution and keep the mantra “clean and legible”, at the forefront of your brain. Oh yes, and for the love of all things employment related, make sure your spelling is up to scratch.
In general, employment gaps are not a problem so long as they’re explained. If you’ve been out of the game for a few weeks it is probably not worth mentioning but the longer the employment gap the more likely it is that you are going to have to explain. So, if you spent a few months at home look-ing after a sick relative or volunteering then you would do well to let your prospective employer know. A failure to do so will leave them suspicious.
Have you ever asked someone a question and their answer was some rambling speech about stuff only vaguely related to the question you asked? According to Robert Walters the exasperated sigh you gave in that moment is apparently how hiring managers feel when you fire off vague statements about your last job. Do your best to keep it to bullet points and succinctly explain what your roles and responsibilities were, what you achieved there, how that benefitted your previous employer and how it will benefit your new boss. Keep it tighter than your matric dance outfit years after you last wore it.