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Nailing the perfect CV

Posted on: 18 Dec 2013 by Peter Baker

How to make your CV the
‘real deal’

As a recruiter I have gone through a plethora of CVs in my time.
Some have stood out, some have been sent and some have led to a
placement. I am often asked by people looking to get themselves out
there once again; where the best place to start posting there CV
is. Well before you even think about firing on all cylinders,
I highly advise you look at the source material itself, is your CV
up to scratch?

There are no guarantees as a candidate whether you will get
placed. The CV is usually the first piece of material anyone has to
review your skills and achievements.  As your CV’s custodian
it is up to you to make your resume or portfolio presentable, up to
date and relevant.

You can be as ambitious as you want with your CV, I often see
very visual ones nowadays, filled with infographics, timelines and
colour. These are attractive and can get key information across in
a more concise and effective manner. 79% of jobseekers have said
they wish they could make themselves more presentable online. In
the time of the great rise of social media, a huge focus has been
put on your ‘personal brand’. You are effectively selling yourself
and the rules of marketing still apply here, ‘nice
packaging’ is a good start. Here a few of my tips for really
nailing a top CV.

Keep it Skills based: It
may look impressive to write paragraphs upon paragraphs of every
single thing you did in your big role at the company you just left.
Truth is, those reading your CV will lose interest quickly if
you’re not straight to the point. Make your CV a competent few
sentences about your key skills and how they’ve benefitted your
career. you can always highlight figures and ROI, as MD/FD owners
of business are always looking for this information.

How many pages? Ah, the big
one. How many pages should your CV be? Well there’s no set number,
it all comes down to relevance. What I mean by this is to not list
every single role you’ve ever had ever, but to tailor it to roles
which fit in with the one you’re currently applying for. You
can then cross reference skills you’ve picked up across the
selected set and use this to explain while you might be relevant
for the role.

Specify: Your job title
should not be, the be all and end all of what you can do as a
person. A Marketing Executive may be a 20k role in some companies,
but a 35k in another. When putting a job title in your
CV, ensure you describe your seniority and just how you saw
yourself within that role. There is no room for complacency here.
So feel free to sell yourself.

I hope some of these points will help on tailoring your CV, it’s
essential to remember though, that your CV is only the introduction
piece of any job process. How you present yourself at interview and
how you really sell yourself are entirely different stories. Which
I hope to cover in future instalments.

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