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Whether you’ve got years of experience under your belt, or are newly joining the workforce, your chance of landing an interview is much more likely to happen if you have a killer resume to show off your education, skills and experience. So, before building your CV, try to have a clear mind, know your assets and where you stand in the market, evaluate yourself using the feedback you receive from people, and tailor your CV accordingly. Here are tips to keep in mind when building a strong CV:
1) Keep your CV clear, concise and simple
On average, recruiters take an 8 second glance at a CV. They do not have time to figure out a messy CV.
Make sure your format is easy to read and guides the reader smoothly. Use short sentences, bold/italic headings and bullet points to organise your CV. Don’t be afraid of white space; this makes a CV appealing to the eye, and hence, will possibly give it a greater chance of being examined for longer than the average “8 seconds”.
Note: The upper middle area of the first page of your CV is where eyes usually fall at first, so try to have your most valuable experiences there. Overall, your CV shouldn’t be longer than 2 pages.
2) Prove that you want the offered job position
Recruiters aren’t usually too fond of the “one size fits all” CV. Take the time to customise your CV for the role you’re applying for specifically. It will be an obvious effort that will be appreciated. For candidates with a long list of experiences or qualifications, mention only those relevant to the position you’re applying for, and leave out those that aren’t.
3) Know how to use your words
Positive words such as “achieved”, “developed” and “maintained” add significant value to your experience, as opposed to words like “did” or “made”. Use strong keywords to complement your experience and to highlight your skills as your phrasing has an impact on your CV’s value.
4) Market your experiences according to the position
Some job positions may require a certain character or personality. Try to portray yourself in the relevant way when you apply for these roles. This is true for example, of roles in sales and marketing, which often require outgoing individuals with strong communication and people skills. You can make use of the hobbies/interests section to demonstrate that you possess these traits.
5) Make sure that your CV is error-free
Employers pay considerable attention to mistakes in your CV. Demonstrate that you care enough to have read over your CV before sending it. This will also remind you to include new experiences or skills that you’ve gained, but forgot to add.
6) Do not mass email your CV
Make sure you read the job posting thoroughly and apply all of the above tips. Employers should not have the impression that you are sending this application randomly.
Now that you’ve built your confidence and have gotten the basics down, give your CV a go. Start looking for jobs that would be of interest to you. Consider creating a LinkedIn profile so you can be updated on open positions in your field and connect with potential employers. Don’t be afraid to get rejected, because the opportunity of your lifetime will come.
*For more on job hunting, read: 5 simple steps for writing a great cover letter and How to excel in your job interview? 8 interview tips that will help you get hired.