Applying for a new job is one of the hardest tasks you have to do, mainly because it’s so important to you emotionally as well as personally. If you can get the application right, then you’ve done a lot of the hard work that goes into sealing a new job – the rest, obviously, is down to your performance in the interview. The search process can be long and drawn out which often affects your morale, but on other occasions you might find something very quickly, it’s all down to luck.
Quite often, however, it’s about the contents of your CV. Whether you’re handing it in to the company receptionist or uploading it to a job search site like Jobs Today, it’s often the first impression that a prospective employer gets of you, and first impressions count as we all know. Your future can be made or broken based on the strength and content of your CV and could mean an end to your job search nightmare, or yet another one of those dreaded ‘thanks but unfortunately your application has not been successful’ emails.
It’s often the case that the CV isn’t a million miles away from being spot on, and more that it just needs a few modifications to look professional. You can’t do much about the content of your CV – without actually going out and gaining the qualifications to add to it of course – so it’s a case of making what you have done impress the prospective employer, and here are a few components that make up a strong CV:
Yes, believe it or not the font makes a big difference. A lot of computer-generated fonts look very nice on the screen, to you, but the employer wants something that is easy to read. Make sure you use a font that is large enough to read as well as legible.
Your CV isn’t supposed to tell “the story of you”; it’s meant to give a brief outline of what you’ve done and who you are, opening the door to a conversation about those points when it comes to the interview. By only including a paragraph with each point, you leave the door open for the employer to remain interested and to want to meet and ask you questions, and make sure that only relevant information is included to keep their interest.
Lists and bullet points are often the most effective way of communicating your roles and responsibilities without going into too much depth. The chances are that the employer will be reading through dozens of CVs just like yours, so you have a limited time to impress before they start to grow tired of reading CVs. By keeping it brief, they’re much more likely to read your whole application and therefore be interested in interviewing you for the role.
Be sure to change your CV with every job application you make. Each application needs to be unique to enhance your prospects of getting an interview, and subsequently the job, so tailor your application and the content of your CV to the interests of that particular company and job role.
A CV with spelling or grammar mistakes is going to be almost automatically thrown on the ‘no’ pile. Make sure that your CV has been read through by someone else to see that it makes sense to someone who hasn’t written it.