Is Your CV As Smart As You Are?

Your CV should be an engaging advertisement for a unique product: you. It should sing your talents, showcase your skills and give an enticing snapshot of your experience. Follow our top tips for a CV that really does you justice:

1. Keep it focused. When you’re one of a pile of 50 candidates, it pays to have a CV that’s short and sweet. Aim to impress within a ten-second read and put key points in bold for skim-readers.

2. Tailor it for each job. Before you send out your CV, compare it with the job specification. What do you need to emphasise more? What can you cut altogether?

3. Always include a covering letter. This should join the dots between your key skills and those of the job specification. It’s your chance to make it crystal clear you’ve got what it takes and more.

4. Keep it fresh. Whether you’re job hunting or not, you should update your CV regularly with new training and achievements. Keep it primed and you’ll be ready for the next big opportunity.

5. Mind the gap. An unexplained gap in your CV can look suspicious. If you were unemployed, then be open and positive about it, mentioning the skills and tenacity you used to find a new job.

6. Take time to proofread. Spelling mistakes and formatting errors can make you look slapdash. Make use of your spellchecker, but don’t rely on it; ask someone you trust to read it as well.

7. Perfect your presentation. Don’t just read your CV, look at it. Is it neat and easy to read? Are the headings clear? Keep sentences short and use bullet-points to make lists easier to scan.

8. Don’t make it up. Employers will discover the truth at interview and they can double-check facts with your referees. If you exaggerate to get a job, it won’t be long before they call your bluff.

9. Do the maths. When listing your achievements, give concrete figures where you can. Why waffle about ‘significant growth’ when you can pinpoint a ‘50% sales increase in three months’?

10. Make it searchable. Create a profile with Elan and upload your CV so that hundreds of employers can see it. Make sure it’s full of key words and phrases and you’ll climb the search engine listings.

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career, CV, jobs, jobsearch