Does Your CV have the ‘WOW’ Factor?
Your curriculum vitae is a really important part of any job application process, and whilst it might feel a pain in the proverbial to have to keep updating it, it’s actually one of the first real chances that you have to impress a potential future employer. A good CV should at the very least be a showcase of your experience and qualifications, not to mention all your most important achievements and personal qualities.
A good CV is one that is really clear and concise, without becoming a rambling document that includes lots of irrelevant information, as that is never going to impress any employer or recruiter that ends up reading it.
It can feel like quite a daunting task to create a great CV, and thinking about all the competition out there can often lead to fear paralysis, rather than spur you on to create your own winning CV. With this in mind, and knowing that at this time of year so many students are nearing the end of their study we thought it would be helpful to put together some top-tips and pointers for creating a CV that really does have the “wow” factor and act as something that will help you to secure an interview for a job that you really want.
The structure or style that you wish to use for your CV is the first thing to consider, then content is key. Make sure that by taking a quick glance at your CV an employer can tell whether you are worth considering for the next stage of the application process, in other words make sure you are showing quickly and concisely how you meet the criteria for the role. Bear in mind that it is highly likely that the employer will have received a large number of applications, so the easier you make it for them to get to know your education, qualities and experience the better! This book by John Lees is a good one to refer to if you want to be sure of getting the content right, and it provides information from entry level to executive level so can apply to different stages of your career https://www.mheducation.co.uk/9780077152857-emea-knockout-cv.
When thinking about the style or format of your CV, always bear in mind that if you are a creative, applying for creative roles, then create an interesting, visually designed CV, this will go a long way towards demonstrating your understanding of the company, what they are looking for and allow you to show your personal flair. Take a look here http://weare.guru/creative-cvs/ for some examples of awesome CV’s that have been created using infographics, you still need to get the information and content right, but this style makes it easy and quick to pick out key information. In just the same way, remember, if you are applying for roles in the business or legal professions your CV needs to reflect the more formal nature of the work you are applying for, just remember to always think about the type of person that is looking at your CV, and the type of company you are applying to.
Tailoring your CV to the company or role that you are applying for is so important, it all comes back to understanding what the employer is looking for and highlighting how you fit the profile, so make sure you highlight the most relevant skills and experience according to the job role you are applying for.
If it all sounds obvious, well we agree, but all this is so often overlooked in the rush to get an application in quickly, make sure you take enough time on your CV and read it through lots of times, show it to someone else to see what they pick out and make sure the right things stand out to them on first glance.
Finally, always update your CV each time you have something worth adding, such as work experience, a new qualification, volunteering work etc. If you do that it will never feel like too much of a mammoth task to update it every few months, and you won’t forget things! Good luck!!
Here are a few more useful websites that provide templates and guidance for creating a high-quality stand-out CV: