8 Quick tips by ex-industry recruiter Steve Lake who worked at Pepper Stark in the UK running the recruitment department. Steve now works at 4 Cornersimages on the Solomango collection.
Avoid clichés. If someone is working through a large number of CVs the last thing they want to see is the old ‘works well in a team and on own initiative’, ‘looking for a job with good career progression’ etc. Not only does everyone write this stuff so you become one of the herd, but a good candidate shouldn’t need to say them, they should be taken for granted.
Be comprehensive I’m not one to say you have to keep a CV short. The US model of trying to fit everything on one page I hate as it gives you no depth. If you have a full career with varied experience then state that. The thing to avoid is repetition. If you’ve been an account manager in 3 different libraries you don’t need to state the AM duties every single time, unless there’s something unusual about one of them or the job has particular relevance to one you’re now applying for. Remember, people reading the CV are going to know what most of these jobs consist of, you don’t need to hammer it home.
Put in a sales number when applying for sales jobs: Sales managers love numbers; % of target hit, what the target was,increased revenue% etc. I wouldn’t advise making them up but you don’t always need the exact figure. You just need something to back up your general statements about how good you are.
Personalize your CV/application enough to get you noticed without coming across as a dick. This is the hardest thing to do. Sections like interests are good for this. By all means throw in a bit of personality, a bit of wit but don’t overdo it. You’re looking for something that makes you sound like a human being. Anyone coming across as ‘wacky’ on their CV has no chance. And be careful about putting things like ‘love gigs and partying with my friends’ because employers will assume you’re a drug addict who will have a permanent hangover at work.
A brief personal profile at the start of a CV: Just 2 or 3 lines summing up your experience and what you’re now looking for in your career. Covering letters aren’t always required or read and busy employers
scanning quickly through CVs won’t always pick up on the key themes from your past experience and often won’t understand how that experience is relevant to the job you’re applying for.
Stating your case in a few lines should then lead the reader into the rest of the CV where you provide the evidence that backs up your initial assertion.
Fit your experience to the profile. It’s a good discipline to write a CV from scratch. The weight should be on the results you achieved insimilar roles together with any evidence that you looked to take on more responsibility in previous roles.
Finally, and this is important; focus on the important elements and lay these out clearly without excessive detail or clutter. CVs are scanned initially, an employer should be able to ascertain if you are a viable candidate within about 30 seconds of looking at it.