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The key to a killer CV

  • July 9, 2017

It’s that time of year when many assess their career and decide that it is time to move on. But before you jump right in and send your CV out, it’s vital to take the time to review it and update it with your latest skills and achievements. And while you might not need us to tell you not to use your or email address when applying, we do have some very useful advice that our many years of experience in recruitment tells us will pay off. And with the average recruiter spending less than ten seconds reviewing a CV before deciding whether to keep it, yours needs to stand out from the crowd. Here’s how:

Tailor it

Nothing stands out more than a generic CV that hasn’t been updated for the specific job you’re applying for. Recruiters and potential employers want to see how well matched you are to that position so it’s no good sending out the same application every time. Read the job specification thoroughly and ensure your skills match the criteria that the organisation is looking for and you’re likely to receive a lot more responses than your regurgitated CV would bring.

No photo

Opinions are mixed over whether you should include a photo with a CV or job application. Some people think you should, more people think you shouldn’t. We’re in the latter camp and from our perspective, it’s much the same as including your birthday and only leaves you open to some employers potentially discriminating against you through their unconscious bias. While it shouldn’t make a difference, if an organisation is that keen to see what you look like then they can look at your social media channels. Which leads us onto our next point…

Sort out social media

While this isn’t part of your CV, it may as well be in the 21st century as you’ll be hard-pressed to find an employer that won’t carry out at least a cursory search of Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and the like to see what you’re really like. You don’t have to delete all the photos of you on a night out, or dressed up for a friend’s birthday, but do hide them as they’re hardly likely to impress your next potential boss. All it takes is an update of your privacy settings and bang – the dirt is gone, or at least hidden.

Keep it simple

There’s no need to add in every single detail about your life achievements so far. Your 25m swimming badge isn’t going to make the difference between getting an interview or not, so the best advice is to cut the superfluous detail and only highlight what will actually help you get the job you’re applying for. Consider that the recruiter who deals with your potential job probably receives hundreds of CVs every day and is fairly unlikely to read all five pages of yours so keep it concise, put your most important information first and cut the waffle.

Check, check and check again

The final point is every recruiter’s bugbear and if there’s one thing likely to get your CV thrown in the bin, it’s bad spelling and grammar. This is barely even excusable anymore as, unless you’ve written your CV by hand or on a typewriter, you will have had access to a spellchecker. And if you’re reluctant to rely on technology, print it out and read it out loud to yourself to ensure it makes sense. And then ask a friend to check it. It may sound like a lot of effort, but if it makes the difference between your application being considered and being binned, it’s probably worth it.

Got a killer CV?

Once you’ve completed this checklist you’re ready to go!

And if you need a helping hand why not get in touch with us today to see how we can help you get the job you’ve been dreaming off.

For advice on nailing your interview, click here.

You may also like to download our guide on How to Develop Your Legal CV.

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