I’ve read thousands of CVs. It’s true, I genuinely have.

And I can say that someone looking at your CV will spend a fraction of the time reading it than you have put into preparing it. That’s not to say you shouldn’t bother. You should. You absolutely should. In fact, you have to!

But you could give yourself a much better chance of getting selected by making your CV more accessible and attention-worthy. Here are 5 tips to show you how:

1 Be relevant
Tailor your CV to fit the role. Only include the relevant information and exclude the rest. Your potential employer doesn’t need to know about that 2-week temp job eight years ago…

2 Focus on the reader
Make it as easy for the reader as possible for them to find the information they are looking for and to see how you are a good fit for the role. What can you offer that will make you stand out?

3 Be clear
Use simple language that is jargon-free and think about using short sentences and bullet points. And don’t be tempted to use a tiny font so you can cram in more words.

4 Be concise
Don’t say more than you need to, stick to the key points and keep to two pages. Maximum!

5 Be selective
In fact, be brutal. Follow the rule of ‘If in doubt, leave it out!’ and remember, it’s not about what you have done in the past, but about what you can offer now and in the future.

A recruiter is looking at your potential for a particular role. They don’t need to know about everything you’ve ever done.

Think about your CV less as an exhaustive list of what you’ve done and more as a way to show what you can do.

What do you need to include that will be of use to your potential employer? And more importantly for most people I’ve worked with – what do you need to leave out?

Be selective. Be brutal. My advice is to keep asking yourself: “Is it relevant to this role?”

Focus on the skills and experience that are right for the role you are applying for.

If you feel you need to include something from a role to give context then condense it into brief bullets or a single sentence. Remember, as in business communications in general, and CVs in particular, it’s not about you the writer, it’s about them, the reader.

That’s how you get started.

If you’d like further advice on how to get started or to book a review of your CV, then get in touch.

Email louise@careertherapy.co.uk
Twitter @cvtherapyuk 

Feature image by Joanna Kosinska on Unsplash
Article image by Rodion Kutsaev on Unsplash

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