As the economic climate changes, so does the job market. Although we can see growth in the local marketplace; competition for job opportunities remains at an all-time high, with employers being far more selective and waiting for the “perfect applicant”.
At times like these, jobseekers can become frustrated, feeling like they are “going through the motions”. If you are a jobseeker that feels like you have gone off track, it’s important to get back to basics and refocus your efforts, and what better way to begin than by reviewing your own personal “marketing tool” – your CV.
Your CV is the first step in “marketing” yourself to potential employers. With only seconds to impress an employer, what will make your CV stand out from the crowd? Following these simple steps could help you on your way to that all important interview…
Understand the “audience”: When writing your CV it is important to understand what your potential employer is looking for, make sure you have researched the company and obtained as much information about the job as you can;
Create a good impression: Don’t underestimate the importance of the “look” of your CV. Your CV should be pleasing to the eye, with clear headings and lots of white space, make sure you have checked the spelling and grammar. Make sure you are using the correct “dictionary” if producing electronically – US English and UK English can have some interesting variances, AND be positive – never underestimate the importance of positive language, avoid negatives at all costs;
Be Concise: A common misconception is that CV’s need to be crammed with everything that you have ever done – be concise and relevant, avoid jargon, concentrate on your latest skills and achievements but make sure you explain what you currently do or have done. Don’t assume an employer will know your duties merely from a job title, which can vary from organisation to organisation. REMEMBER to be selective – be objective and emphasise the skills and experience for the role that you are applying for and how your skills are transferable. Tailor your CV and covering letter for each role. Ask your friends to read your CV and letter and verify the position you are applying for – if they don’t think your background is relevant then neither will the employer;
Be Up-to-date: Your CV should be recent and up-to-date; can the prospective employer look at your CV and tell exactly what it is you are doing at this point in time? If not, you are leaving this to their imagination;
Be Honest: Don’t try and hide gaps in employment by changing dates – this can often come out in references or at interview and will undermine your credibility, bringing into question your honesty and integrity.
Writing an interview winning CV is one of the most important tasks you will have to undertake when job searching – however putting in the extra time to produce an effective marketing tool will pay dividends.