Having a great CV is the key to getting over the first hurdle when it comes to any job application – especially if its through a recruiter such as ourselves. Here are a few tips to ensure your CV not only stands out but also gives you the best opportunity to reach the next stage of a job application. Here are 10 small tips on how to make the most of your CV!
- Tailor your CV for the job you want – highlight your relevant experiences.
A well-tailored CV makes it easy for a recruiter to see how your experiences align with the open role. Taking the time to ensure the CV is relevant to the position you have applied for can make a big difference, you should highlight the most relevant experience or qualifications in the opening paragraphs to grab our attention and to ensure they are not lost amongst other qualities that may not be as relevant.
2. Mirror the language used in the job ad or description.
This can be a great tool in getting your CV passed the first screening process and helps your skills stand out as being relevant, it also helps to overcome localised terms and names which we often have in Agriculture that may not be the same in another region or country.
3. Focus on results, not responsibilities
We don’t only want to know your duties in your past roles, we want to know your results. This shouldn’t be just fluffy statements but solid stats if you can provide them and it doesn’t break confidentiality. A statement of sales achievements or other results
4. Keep it professional
Your CV is a professional document so use professional language, be more formal than an email to a friend or colleague but do give us an insight into your interests, we want to get to know the person behind the CV!
5. Be concise
We don’t always need your entire life story and we don’t necessarily need your job history to start with your paper round, be concise, try to limit the CV to a couple of pages but ensure we can see progression and relevant experience.
6. Make sure you include contact details
It should go with out saying however it its surprising how many CVs can come to us without full contact details! Make sure you include phone number, email and if you have it a Skype ID. You can have the best cv in the world but if we don’t know how to contact you we can’t put you forward!
7. Be thoughtful about explaining CV gaps
Don’t be afraid to have gaps in your CV – so long as you explain them! Sometimes circumstance mean we have CV gaps, if this is the case don’t be tempted to adjust leaving dates and so on to make it look like you had continuity, if we find the gap when checking you out then this can be an issue. Explain why you left roles and if they were genuine short term contracts.
8. Use spell check
This should go with out saying but be careful even if spell check has been used automatically. In agriculture we often use terms that are uncommon to the spell check dictionary so make sure you cast an eye over the spelling and grammar and ensure it is using the right dictionary for the country you are in!
9. Keep the layout neat
A neat, logically laid out CV that is easy to read and pull out the key information will get you noticed and remembered. Only use images if they are relevant and will add information that is otherwise hard to explain or would take up a great deal of space. Check that font is consistent across the document and the use of coloured text is appropriate.
10. Get someone else to read your CV.
Finally get someone you know to proof read it – not only for spelling and so on but to make sure it reads well, is easy to follow and to see if what they are reading matches their experiences of you!
Your CV is your initial chance to create a good impression and one of the most important documents you will make. Although we and other good recruiters know that there is more to a person beyond the CV and that it is only one element of who you are, receiving the CV can often be the first contact we have with you and so you need to ensure you make a good first