When it comes to looking for a job it is amazing the amount of people that almost skim over writing their CV as if it were nothing. They seem to think just throwing down some dates and companies will help them with their progression.
The problem is such an attitude skips over what the employers consider important. The odds are that those that you want to hire you won’t actually know anything about you until you give them the CV – and if that doesn’t spell out why they should hire you then the odds of getting an interview get very long indeed.
The art of writing a CV is a simple one, when you know what you are doing. So how do you best write a CV to give yourself the chance of getting an interview and a job?
Keywords and Figures
Do you think just uploading your CV to a job board would be much use? Think about what these job boards mean. Employers search them for potential employees all the time, as do recruiters. They do this via a boolean search string, in the same way you would use a search engine.
This means that for your CV to come up in their searches you need to have the words they are searching for. This means you need to write down your skills on your CV.
Include what skills you have used, what programs you have interacted with, and much more detail besides in each job if you want to ensure your CV is found. It is also a good idea to include a ‘key skills’ list as this not only emphasises what you are good at but is another place to write down what you can do. Similarly if you use software at all a ‘software list’ might also help.
When it comes to keywords it is not just the job boards that you need to include them for. For many larger companies (and even a lot of small ones) the first person to see your CV will be HR. Now HR are not exactly technical – they may well not understand the technical aspects of a business. So if you haven’t said outright that you can do what they are looking for, they will ignore you.
Often they will be working form a tick sheet of skills – skills they need to see on your CV before they pass them to managers for consideration, so make sure they are there.
It is also amazing how many important details get left out by people. The trick is to always bee specific in a way that enhances what people reading will think of you. The more detail you give the better chance of impressing.
Manage 10 people in your last role? Tell them! Working on big budget projects of several million, write it down! Save your company hundreds of thousands with a new idea? I can guarantee ANY company will want to know about that!
Specifics, in skills, software and figures are what make a good CV. Make sure that you cover all the details that you can – and where it is simply not possible to do so, instead include them in a cover letter!