At LMRE, we pride ourselves on delivering the best candidates to our clients and matching our candidate’s criteria with a well-suited company. Whilst the processes for each job role vary from client to client, the CV acts as the first steppingstone towards any job opportunity, as well as the first introduction to a potential employee’s profile, skillset, and experience. It is therefore crucial to ensure your CV paints the best and most impressive picture of yourself to guarantee progression to the next stages of the hiring process.
Here are some ‘tips and tricks’ we have seen working within the industry to help ensure your CV leaves a long-lasting impression and attracts the attention of a potential employer:
The most common mistake whilst composing your CV is feeling required to add as much information as possible, both in the body of the text and the summary. A CV should be no more than 2 pages long (on average). With extensive experience, 3-4 pages long is acceptable, though it does run the risk of becoming ‘waffle’ if it exceeds the 2-3 pages mark.
Solution: Ensure the information that is included is condensed and relevant, using bullet points to highlight what you did in each role. Additionally, if you are adding a summary, try to keep it short and crisp by including no more than 2-3 sentences on your background, otherwise, you are in danger of repeating yourself further down the page.
Lack of Examples
Every CV needs substance. The CVs that are the most successful in leaving a positive and long-lasting impression on the reader are those with solid examples of their achievements to back up each point being made. The main purpose of any CV is to sell yourself and show off your skills!
Solution: Provide no less than 2 bullet points of your key achievements (no more than 5 for your most recent position), ensuring that you support each point with real figures (sales, marketing budgets, % increase, for example.)
Avoid leaving gaps in your employment history
As mentioned earlier, it is important to keep your CV condensed and to-the-point. However, you must ensure there are no gaps in your employment history, as the employer may question why certain information is not included.
Solution: Ensure that there are no gaps or inconsistencies within the information you are providing. If, for example, you took a gap year or completed any additional courses post-education, it is always worth noting this on your CV so that your employer does not question long periods of unemployment.
Avoid using ‘casual’ grammar
Whilst this might be an obvious error to avoid, it is crucial to ensure your CV is articulate and properly proofread before submission. A CV with grammatical and basic spelling errors, as well as punctuation mistakes can often be interpreted as careless, running the risk of the employer not taking your application seriously.
Solution: Proofread your CV before submission. It might be helpful to have a friend or a family member read it over as an extra pair of eyes. The more the merrier!
Whilst there is no one ‘correct’ way to format your CV, a resumé that looks professional and presentable will automatically stand out to an employer. Avoid adding pictures, as they are not necessary and will take up valuable space on the page. Steer clear of bright colours and unconventional fonts, as they can appear unprofessional and can give an employer the wrong impression.
Solution:Use a standard font in black (Arial, Cambria, Calibri, Garamond, Georgia, Helvetica, Times New Roman), no bigger than size 12. Chronologically order your employment history from your most recent role to your earliest role, as this will make it easy and coherent for the employer to follow.
Failure to tailor your application
Another common mistake whilst writing a CV is failing to tailor the information you include to the job role you are applying for. Of course, this doesn’t mean excluding key achievements that might not directly fit the role. Instead, avoid adding information that is not particularly relevant to the experience required for the job.
Solution: Ensure that your CV highlights your matching experience and qualities with the job description. It is always a good idea to make yourself familiar with the job description so that you can showcase the achievements and experiences that are specified.
To summarise, a CV needs to paint a professional picture of who you are, your skills and abilities (supported with evidence), and how your employment history can benefit a future employer. Whilst the above tips are a great starting point for anyone putting together a CV, please do get in touch with our consultants who can help answer any questions you might have and advise you on how best to approach the current market!
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