After reading (at a conservative estimate) 10-15 CVs per working day over a 20 year period, it’s safe to say, I have seen some excellent ones and some not so good ones. Sadly the poor ones outweigh the stand-out ones, which after all – job hunting is challenging enough, without having a fit for purpose CV, that at least gets you in front of the Hiring Manager, even if you’re prone to disasters at that point (content of another blog)!
So, I am summarising what I believe are the optimum factors for a compelling CV:
Font – please, please anything but ‘Times New Roman’! Arial in 10pt is probably as good as it gets.
Page numbers – 3 maximum, the reader will scan the first page, but if nothing incites their interest there, the 2nd and subsequent pages will be destined never to have an eye cast upon them.
Word cloud – a lot of candidates do not bother to tweak their CV to reflect the key words of the employing company’s job description. At the very least ensure that the words in your word cloud of skills reflect the searchable words of that in the job description, or quite frankly you stand no chance of getting beyond the robot, who could be reading your CV electronically.
But seriously, your chances of getting an interview (or a preliminary phone call) are reduced, if you do no invest the time in modifying your CV to reflect the competencies of the role that you are applying for – for each individual application! Please change your strategy from volume applications to targeted, or selective – as in apply for jobs/companies you really are a genuine match for.
Achievements – be sure to include key milestone achievements for each of your roles to date, illustrating with data and numbers where possible.
The attachment below, is representative of a clean CV template that you can use if you are struggling to get responses to your applications.
And finally, while thinking about this post over the weekend, I came across this site which endorses the use of one-page CVs and also offers a template for same! I’m not too sure about the ‘favourite inspirational quote’ inclusion, but if you want to experiment with the general layout, it looks quite easy! I cannot vouch for the success rate of it, but perhaps if you are an entry level candidate, or even a very experienced candidate, it might work equally well, for you depending on what industry you are looking to target & achieve. The link is here:
Please feel free to drop me a line if you have any queries – firstname.lastname@example.org