Friday, 9 January 2015

Customise your CV

In over 30 years in recruitment, the second most common problem is that an applicant often sends a generic CV.  Your chances of obtaining an interview increase between 10% and 50% (assuming you have applied for a suitable position) if your customise your CV.

A concise CV without missing the important parts
A two page CV is the ideal (unless you have a PhD and several pages listing your recently presented papers, posters, seminars and conferences).
Managers usually have to sift though a heap of CV's , concise CV's that match the spec will go in the "keepers" pile and the others go in the "weepers" pile.
However, the CV must contain relevant skills and experience or it will not make the cut.
The emphasis is initially placed upon rejecting most of the CV's.

The problem is that as your experience grows so does the task of restricting your resume to two sides of A4.  You might be organised and keep several versions of our CV or else edit it each time before sending it off to a prospective employer or recruitment agency.

If you do not Customise your CV then you are already at a disadvantage.
Before you apply for a role need to look very carefully at the job description/specification within an advertised job vacancy.  If you are not suitable then don't apply.  If you are you need to maximise your chances and to do that you need to check that our CV best represents you in the light of that job.

Do not apply for a basket full of jobs with one click and send a generic CV off for different roles.   Unless you are lucky you will be passed over in favour of persons whose CV has been meticulously worked on to increase relevance.

Making the most of your CV 
You might be thinking "That's fine in theory but how do I make the most of my CV?"
Or "How long will this take?"

It's all about Focus and once you have that it only takes a few minutes.
This 5 step process will assist you:

  1. Turn your CV over or better still put it in a drawer.
  2. Print out the job spec from the advert.
  3. with a magic marker highlight all the text that matches your experience quals and skills
  4. Now take your CV out of the drawer and with a critical eye check to see if it contains all of the info that you have highlighted in the job spec.
  5. Finally, if there are key things highlighted in the job spec that are missing from your CV then you must add it.  
Hot Tip:
Don't be tempted to add just a keyword to a list of skills, you must make it relate to you in a prior role and allow the person vetting CV's to see you in your best light.

Finally, be accurate in your claims, don't exaggerate and never ever claim to have done something when you have not.
Good luck!

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