How to craft a perfect CV

To successfully apply for any job it’s vital that you have a well-written, professional looking CV. However having a nicely structured and formatted CV is just the starting point; you need to use it as a base which you can adapt for each role you apply for. Tailoring your CV to fit the role you’re applying for can dramatically increase your chance of success.

Here are some tips to take into account for your next application:

Showcase your strengths

Emphasise the skills you have which are most strongly connected to the job you’re applying for, for example, if you’re applying for an accountancy role, it will pay to mention your qualifications (ACCA/CIMA/ATT), systems experience and attention to detail.

From the start it’s important to demonstrate why they should choose you by showing that you have the right experience. Link your strengths to certain projects where you have used them or other examples that showcase you applying the skill or knowledge.

Include other general skills

Don’t leave out what you might perceive as your less relevant skills, particularly soft skills that are relied upon in most jobs. Although they may not be your main strengths to excel at many roles, skills such as stakeholder engagement, change management and communication at various levels will round out your CV and may distinguish you from other applicants. Mentioning these types of skills will reassure prospective employers that you’re a candidate of choice.

Give it a solid structure

The way your CV is structured can make or break your application. Some employers will make the decision whether to carry on reading your CV based purely on your CV’s structure, opening summary and key skills. Put the greatest emphasis on your latest and most relevant jobs and simply summarise the older and less relevant roles.

Check, check and check again

When you’re happy with the content of your CV, spend some extra time spell checking and proofreading it a few times. Try asking someone else to read it too as they may pick up on mistakes that you may not have spotted. Even the smallest errors or inconsistencies could make an employer think that you are not conscientious.

Think like a recruiter

Try to place yourself in the role of the employer when you read the document. Would you consider hiring you? And does this CV not only give you the information you want to see, but also portrays you and your skills in the best possible way?

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