Your next employer wants to know who you are and what drives you when it comes to your career direction. Giving a brief profile of yourself upfront stating your strengths, a summary of your experience and what you envision for your future, is often a key component to introducing yourself and your goals. You can also opt to state an achievement or two or what you consider pivotal career highlights.
Keywords There’s always common terminology used in a specific job field. Try and incorporate some of the appropriate buzzwords and jargon to show your familiarity in that sector. For example, in IT, a Developer could often refer to themselves as being a “Polyglot”, which means that the individual is skilled to write code in multiple programming languages. Someone working in Big Data may often use the term “Transactional Data” which is data that changes unpredictably. Or in marketing, phrases like “growing your audience” has become synonymous with increasing your social media followers.
Active rather than passive When listing your duties and skillset, use bulleted sentences starting with a verb which signifies your daily actions you took to get the job done. This has proven to make more of an impact. For example: “Led a team” rather than “Was involved in a team which I led”.
Compare before you hit apply Once you have read the job ad, do a review of skills required versus your skills stated on your CV. Ensure that there is at least a match of your competencies to what the company is looking for.
Avoid the irrelevant Please try to be as concise as possible only providing info of value rather than unrelated, unnecessary or downright inappropriate facts. You could have a brilliant CV and one line could be the downfall of you, putting a negative stain on the entire document. Some true story examples we have encountered have been, the hospital the person was born at or private details which could even be a risk factor for example kids names and ages and the information of the person’s vehicle.
Ensure you use professional references with updated contact details Your primary school teacher who adored you and for whom you were only too glad to be the teacher’s pet, however cute, is a definite NONO. Your references must be previous bosses or superiors you worked for and who can give a clear indication of you in your professional capacity. When applying for a new role it is always helpful to check if their job title has perhaps changed or contact numbers.
Gap Cover If you have any periods unaccounted for, the recruiter and your potential future boss would want to know what you were up to during that time. It’s always beneficial to provide a brief explanation on your CV.
Elaborate when it comes to Self-employment/Freelance Work If you have worked for yourself or did freelancing, give yourself an appropriate title for example: Freelance Java Developer or Financial Consultancy Owner. In addition, be prepared to provide credible references of clients/companies for whom you did work for. Valid referees could also include volunteer positions or unpaid work you may have done for friends.
Don’t be afraid to hit the Spellcheck button If there’s one thing that can come across as just plain sloppy on your part is if you CV is riddled with spelling errors. Check your grammar as well and if English is not your first language get someone who is or has trustworthy English skills to look over it for you.
Keep it compact In a time where everything is fast-paced, time is of the essence. A useful tip could be to omit jobs you did many years ago. Ultimately, you need to be mindful that the more concise your CV is, the quicker it will be for the person reviewing it to scan it over.
Think of your CV as that one step closer towards getting your Dream Job.