Talent acquisition professional Luke Hannon shares relevant tips and hints for finding your dream job.
Text: Luke Hannon
We've all heard that statistic, right? Recruiters look at a CV for only seven seconds. Hopefully, you read it in my last column! A poorly written CV is the biggest obstacle preventing people from finding their dream job. FACT. Luckily, a few simple tweaks can make a world of difference and help you stand out from the rest. Here goes…
TIP #1 - Keep it simple
The easier your CV is to read, the better. If a recruiter is only going to scan your CV for seven seconds, you shouldn't waste their time trying to decipher it. First, start with a good headline. This one-line sentence goes directly below your name, explaining who you are and what you're about. If you're applying for a job as a Marketing Specialist, put that (if you are, of course!). Next comes your contact details (so the manager can invite you to that interview, right!) and then immediately below, write your experience. Your current (or most recent) job ALWAYS comes first. Highlight your relevant experience in a simple bulleted list and drive home how YOU, with YOUR skills and experience, can be an excellent match for the company.
As far as I know, nobody has ever confused a hiring manager into hiring them. So keep it simple and clear, and the interview requests will roll in.
"As far as I know, nobody has ever confused a hiring manager into hiring them. So keep it simple and clear, and the interview requests will roll in."
TIP #2 - A tailored CV is a winning CV
A customised CV could be the difference between getting an interview and not. Research shows that, on average, companies hire candidates that fulfil 79 percent of the job descriptions' requirements. So the more you tailor your CV to the job requirements, the better your chances. Does this mean you must write a new CV for every job you apply for? No - but you should write a "core" CV with your key skills and responsibilities. Then when you apply for a new job, be sure to read the job description and highlight all the key competencies that you have that are important for the role. If there's one key takeaway, it's this. ALWAYS tailor your CV!
TIP #3 - Make an impact
I always tell people "responsible for XYZ" means nothing if you suck at it! Focusing on your impact is the best way to stand out from the crowd. So, no, you weren't "responsible for a sales team". Instead, you "led a sales team of 10 that increased revenue by $1.5m''.
Impact gets you hired!
Go one step further and pack your CV with action verbs. Take a (metaphorical) red pen to your CV and delete phrases like "responsible for..", "tasked with…" and "experienced with…".
It's time to take charge!
Instead, you "drove", you "achieved'' and you "improved". The more impact you can show the hiring manager you've had, the better your chance of moving forward.
TIP #4 - Use jargon strategically
Look, every industry has its own jargon. There's no getting around this. Some jargon can help you by providing a common language between you and the hiring manager. But don't overdo it! It's OK to include well-known terms within the industry, but if you think you're going to impress a hiring manager by including jargon that they can't understand, think again.
Clarity is key when writing your CV, so avoid overdoing jargon at all costs!
TIP #5 - Size matters
Spare a thought for the poor hiring manager's eyes!
Don't try to cram as much as you can into those two pages by using size six font. Research shows that the best font size for your CV is between 10 and 12 points. This good balance helps you fit enough into your CV while making it easy to read. Remember - the easier to read, the better!
That's it! My 5 tips to supercharge your CV. Applying these tips will hugely improve your chances of finding the job you've always wanted. So stay tuned for next month!