As recruiters we are often asked by applicants “How can I improve my CV?” or “What can I do to make my CV more appealing?” Following on from our previous article about what employers really look for in a CV, we take a further look at how you can improve your CV in a few simple steps.
Length of your CV
Employers receive lots of CV’s every day. When looking through a CV they want to be able to find the information they need quickly. We suggest that you try to keep your CV between 2 to 3 pages in length and ensure it is only filled with relevant information.
If you are someone that can fit into different job roles, you may want to have an alternative CV for each role. For example, if you are a functional consultant and project manager, you could have a project management CV, which briefly mentions your your functional abilities and vice versa.
Condensing your CV
For individuals with many years of experience, or someone who has worked in lots of different roles, such as contractors, your CV is likely to be longer than the average CV. If your CV is much longer than the suggested 2 to 3 pages, then you may wish to consider condensing it. To help shorten your CV into a more palatable length, we would suggest summarising historic positions you have held, allowing enough room to provide more in depth detail on only your last few positions.
When summarising you should include the company, position held, dates of employment and a brief summary about your responsibilities and skills, or major accomplishments if more relevant to the position you are applying for.
What to include on the first page
Always ensure that the front page of your CV is filled with the most relevant information. Ensure your abilities to do the job in which you are applying for, ‘jump out’ to the employer. We would suggest on the first page that you include:
- Your name
- Brief summary of your most prolific skills
- Your current and up-to-date certifications
- Your current employment details, which should include; main skills used, responsibilities and main accomplishments
- Industry recognition
Writing in first or third person
Deciding whether to write your CV in the first or third person is down to personal preference. But, whichever method you use, ensure you stick to your choice throughout the entire CV to show consistency. Employers see CVs as a demonstration of your written communication skills and your attention to detail, which is particularly important in jobs where you will be producing high level written documents and proposals on daily basis.
What not to include
As a recruitment company, we are often asked by our clients to remove all potentially discriminating information from a CV before we present it to them. Such information that we may be required to remove are pictures of the applicant, gender, date of birth or marital status etc. The reason for this request is usually to ensure that they are operating a fair internal requirement process across their organisation. Therefore, our suggestion is to remove this information before submitting to your recruiter.
More career tips
We hope you find the above CV advice useful in perfecting your own CV, but if you have any further questions then please free free to contact our recruitment team. They will be happy to review your CV and provide further advice where needed.