It’s an unfortunate fact of life that most C.V.s will be judged within seconds and consigned to either a “yes” or “no” pile. It’s harsh, but then if you were tasked with sorting through endless C.V.s you might become quite ruthless in your search!
But if you keep this fact in mind when putting together your application you can create a C.V. that really jumps out of the pile. So here are some ideas to get you going.
At some point you will probably upload your C.V. to a recruitment site or LinkedIn. The C.V.s on these websites are searched by recruiters looking for certain skills, so make sure these search terms are featured keywords.
Be Creative with Your Layout
Even if recruiters like your skills and experience, C.V.s can easily get lost amongst the paperwork. You need your C.V. to stand out and be easily found in a pile. Try playing around with some creative layouts to highlight your key skills and experience. Steer clear of lots of colour or busy designs though, as it might start to look unprofessional.
If you are applying for a creative job you could consider presenting your C.V. as an infographic. See some great examples of infographic C.V.’s on Pinterest.
Tailor Your C.V.
It can be very tempting to reuse the same C.V. for each application. But supplying a recruiter with lots of irrelevant information can detract from your more relevant skills. Filter out anything you don’t need for each individual application and, while you’re there, pick out the key skills and make them as obvious as possible.
Include a Photo
Most employers wont necessarily request a photograph, but a nice photo attached to your C.V. can add personality and allow the person reading it to form a picture of you in their mind. A photo clipped to the top of your application can also make it much quicker and easier to find in a pile – never a bad thing.
Make it Accurate
Not original, I know, but you would be surprised at the number of applications sent in with typos, spelling and formatting errors. By ensuring your application is completely accurate and easy to read you will certainly stand out in an employer’s mind. Make sure you ask a few of your friends and family to read through to check for readability and mistakes.
If you’re looking for some more advice on how to sort out your C.V., the Guardian careers site has some pretty helpful pointers. Then there’s the National Careers Service. They have a free CV tool and trained advisers who can discuss pretty much anything to do with getting a job, changing the way you work, or earning a promotion. There are loads more tips and advice on the C.V. section of their website.